Environment “needs a bailout”

The stagnating global economy, coupled with the increasing negative effects of climate change, make focusing on the "green economy" more important than ever in creating new jobs, says a study by the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington-based research organisation.


"It’s time for a bailout for the environment: one that creates jobs, is global in scope and can help rebuild communities amidst the ashes of the current economic crisis," according to Worldwatch researcher Michael Renner. He is a co-author of the report, Green Jobs: Working for People and the Environment, prepared with the Cornell Global Labor Institute.


The report says that changing patterns of employment and investment resulting from efforts to reduce global warming can create new jobs in many sectors, not just in renewable energy. "Green jobs" in re-engineering buildings, transportation systems, agriculture and basic industry also are important to reducing humanity’s carbon footprint, it noted.


But, the report continued, green investment exists primarily in a small number of developed countries, while 80% of the world’s workforce lives in developing countries. Among other barriers, there are unlikely to be enough green jobs to combat the 6% global unemployment rate or to help the 487 million workers who live below the extreme-poverty level of US$1 a day.


(The report is derived from a longer, in-depth study, Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World, commissioned for the United Nations Environment Programme and three international labour organisations.)


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