| NUSA DUA, Indonesia
NUSA DUA, Indonesia Climate change is creating
millions of "green jobs" in sectors from solar power to
biofuels that will slightly exceed layoffs elsewhere in the
economy, a U.N. report said on Thursday.
Union experts at U.N. climate talks in Bali, Indonesia,
said the findings might ease worries among many workers that
tougher environmental standards could mean an overall loss of
jobs for many countries.
"Millions of new jobs are among the many silver, if not
indeed gold-plated, linings on the cloud of climate change,"
Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said
in a statement.
"New research reveals that these jobs are not for just the
middle classes -- the so-called 'green collar' jobs -- but also
for workers in construction, sustainable forestry and
agriculture, engineering and transportation," he said.
The study of "Green Jobs" around the world said that
measures to promote ethanol in Brazil, for instance, had
created 500,000 jobs. In China, 150,000 people were employed in
solar heating, a sector with sales revenues in 2005 of $2.5
And it said that renewable energy programs in Spain and
Germany, such as in promoting wind power, had "already created
several hundred thousand jobs."
The environmental industry employed more than 5.3 million
people in the United States in 2005, according to a UNEP
statement that did not give a breakdown by sector.
"There's every indication that there will be a net gain (in
jobs) but probably not a very large net gain," Janos Pasztor, a
senior UNEP official, told a news conference in Bali.
"The labor intensity of renewables is higher than those of
fossil fuels or nuclear power," he said. Jobs could be lost in
coal mining, for instance, if the world sought to shift away
from fossil fuels.
The study did not try to estimate the total number of jobs
that could be created or lost by measures to combat climate
change, which U.N. reports project will bring more droughts,
floods, heatwaves and rising seas.
"The fears that this will turn into a job killer...are
unfounded," said Peter Poschen, a development specialist at the
U.N.'s International Labor Organization. "There is a huge
opportunity for 'green jobs'."
"Fear of job or livelihood losses...continues to pose a
barrier to greater worker involvement," said Lucien Royer of
the International Trade Union Confederation, grouping workers
in more than 100 nations.
He welcomed the study as confirming past economic theories
about net gains in jobs linked to combating global warming.
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