20 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The International Labour Organisation, ILO, has predicted in a report that the transition to green economy will lead to the loss of six million jobs in industries that are heavily reliant on carbon-based production.
Two sectors, namely petroleum extraction and refining, are set to see job losses of one million or more, the UN labour agency said in its annual flagship report on the state of the global job market.
In line with the historic Paris Agreement on climate change accord of December 2015, UN member states pledged to respond to destructive climate change, by keeping temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels.
According to the report ‘World Employment and Social Outlook 2018: Greening with jobs’, this should create more new jobs in the sustainable energy sector through public policy shifts – as well as private sector development – ranging from the promotion of electric cars to energy-efficient buildings.
The ILO said action to combat climate change could create millions of new job opportunities and “more than” offset losses in traditional industries.
The UN agency said that 24 million new posts “will be created globally by 2030”, but added that “the right policies to promote a greener economy” must also be in place for this to happen, along with better social safety nets for workers.
It indicates that the regional winners from investment in energy use and production will be Asia and the Pacific, with 14 million jobs created, the Americas (three million) and Europe (two million).
In contrast, negative job growth is forecast in the Middle East (minus 0.48 per cent) and Africa (minus 0.04 per cent) if the reliance of these regions continues, respectively, on fossil fuels and mining.
The report also predicted that over 300,000 workers will be employed in the solar and wind energy sectors in India to meet the country’s target of generating 175 gigawatts of electricity from renewable sources by 2022.