Green jobs present an opportunity for a sustainable global economy and society

Working Towards Sustainable Development: Opportunities for decent work and social inclusion in a green economy is the title of an in-depth report published today by a cluster of international organizations: the United Nations Environment Programme, International Labour Organization, International Organization of Employers, and the International Trade Union Confederation. The report is one of the most helpful that GallonDaily has seen for some time.

The report documents evidence that for countries at all levels of development the drive towards environmental sustainability and greener economies is gaining momentum. Already, tens of millions of green jobs have been created. For example, employment in environmental goods and services in the United States in 2010 was 3.1 million (2.4 percent)and growing. Similar levels and dynamics are seen in other countries, such as in Brazil, where 2.9 million green jobs (6.6 per cent of formal employment)were recorded in 2010 in sectors aimed at reducing environmental harms.

Of particular interest to GallonDaily, the report documents that not all sectors are going to contribute equally to green employment. The report identifies agriculture, forestry, fishing, energy, resource-intensive manufacturing, recycling, buildings, and transportation as being the sectors that will undergo major changes as the world moves towards a greener economy. For each of these sectors the report documents such aspects as technical and policy options for greening the sector, impacts on employment and incomes, good social and labour practices in greening the sector, social and labour challenges and issues, and the way forward.

Of the nine economies with data available, Australia, Canada, EU, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, and United States, Canada is reported as having the highest percentage of employment in carbon-intensive industry sectors. Canada has 48% of employment in these sectors, compared to 46% for Japan, 45% for the US and 38% for the UK.

For those seeking to implement green initiatives in industry, particularly in the sectors mentioned above, GallonDaily recommends this report as a ‘must read’. It can be found at¬†http://www.unep.org/PDF/Workingtowards_full.pdf

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