Investing 2% of GDP Would Create 48 Million Green Jobs Worldwide

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is calling on the G20 to invest a minimum 2% of GDP in the green economy, based on Millennium Institute research.

That research finds that 48 million ‘green and decent’ jobs would be created if just 12 countries participated over the next five years.

24 million jobs could be created in the US, Germany and Australia, and 18 million jobs in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

"Imagine what we can do in 24 countries, imagine in 50 countries, how many hundreds of millions of jobs that would create," says the report.

The report notes:

Environmental deterioration and rising social inequality are twin perils of the 21st century. Many countries are living through the biggest crisis of unemployment in 100 years, and the gap between the rich and working people is growing.

The majority of governments are focusing on short-term economic policies, while making little effort to build a healthy society and environment for the long term.

There is no choice but to transition to a greener economy, where social needs and environmental protection are at the heart of decision making.

Governments and corporations have traditionally used employment concerns to stall or postpone decisions on wages, safety standards, social protection, and environmental regulation.

What is the green economy?

Their definition: An economy where investment in sustainable production and in cleaner technologies is shaped by key principles of social justice, social protection, and decent work.

Details of the Study

If the US were to make a 2% of GDP investment (good luck!) it would have the greatest potential for green jobs over the coming five years with a 14% share (15.3 million – 20.7 million jobs), followed by Germany (12.5%) and Brazil (12%).

The authors examined four key industries in 12 countries to come to their conclusions.

For example, modeling for the USA and Europe covered energy, construction, transport and manufacturing industries.

In Brazil, they substituted agriculture for manufacturing and in Africa, they focused on basic services including energy to promote energy access, water for improved sanitation, agriculture for economic development and transport for access to basic services such as health and education and productivity.
Country Examples

Brazil’s social housing program, "My Home My Life" is creating 30,000 jobs over the next four years by providing low-income housing that integrates solar hot water. Launched in 2009, 500,000 homes are completed so far.

Germany’s large scale Building Rehabilitation Program is part of the government’s Energy Concept 2050, which includes the goal of achieving a "climate neutral" building stock by 2050.

Since 2001, its been providing low-interest loans to increase energy efficiency in buildings. 25,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion invested.

South Africa’s New Economic Growth Plan, launched in 2010, has a goal of creating 5 million jobs in 10 years. It targets 30% renewable energy by 2030, and 300,000 jobs are expected in clean manufacturing and environmental services.

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