For years, fighting climate change was seen as something that could really only be done at the expense of an economy’s economic growth. Today, it is widely accepted that striving for a clean
environment does not preclude the growth of a healthy job market. In fact, most experts say that investing in green technologies has a positive impact on employment: Up to 60 million new jobs could be created globally by 2032 in the shift to a greener economy, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Although there’s still an open debate on what makes a job green and how to count such jobs, green jobs are generally seen as those that involve preserving the environment and/or conserving natural resources.
According to Moustapha Kamal Gueye, a policy specialist for the Green Jobs Programme at the ILO in Geneva, “We’re already witnessing a measurable boom in jobs growth in some areas.”
The renewable energy sector, for instance, employed 9.8 million people in 2016, and that number was expected to rise to 24 million by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intergovernmental body. Investments in green construction were expected to account for more than 3.3 million jobs in the U.S. by 2018. Two years ago, growth in green construction there had already begun to outpace that of conventional construction, one study said.