In a green economy, 7.5 million jobs would be lost in electricity, but 22.5 million would be generated in other areas
Electricity powered by fossil fuels “is the most affected sector” regarding jobs by 2030 relative to employment in 2014.
Santo Domingo, DR
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), to support a sustainable recovery from COVID-19, the Latin American and Caribbean regions urgently need to create decent jobs and build a more sustainable and inclusive future.
Much has already been saying about a zero-emissions economy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, but what does this entail for the labor sector?
According to a study by the ILO and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the transition to a net-zero emissions economy would result in the disappearance of some 7.5 million jobs in fossil fuel electricity, fossil fuel extraction, and animal production.
However, more jobs would be generated by this type of “green economy,” where about 22.5 million jobs would be created in the region in productive activities such as agriculture and plant-based food production, renewable electricity, forestry, construction, and manufacturing.
The research entitled “Employment in a Zero Net Emissions Future in Latin America and the Caribbean” reveals that as countries work to protect their citizens from the coronavirus, safeguard their economies and prepare for recovery, the transition to a green economy holds the promise of creating 15 million net new jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The ILO and the IDB, in their report, stress that an inclusive green recovery is essential to help address the climate crisis, but if action is not taken now, 2.5 million jobs could be lost in the region as a result of heat stress by 2030.
The research finds that more than 80% of the new jobs created by decarbonization programs will be in sectors that men currently dominate.
“Women will not benefit from job creation unless the current gender segregation by occupation is addressed,” international agencies lament.
What is the green economy?
The ILO defines green jobs as “decent jobs” that contribute directly to environmental sustainability, either by producing environmental goods or making more efficient use of natural resources.
“The transition to environmental sustainability is expected to create many more green jobs that contribute significantly to poverty eradication and social inclusion,” the ILO and IDB point out in their study.
The report highlights how shifting to healthier, more sustainable diets that reduce meat and dairy consumption and increase plant-based foods would create jobs and reduce pressure on the region’s unique biodiversity.
With this shift, the region’s agri-food sector could generate the equivalent of 19 million full-time jobs, which would more than offset the reduction of 4.3 million jobs in livestock, poultry, dairy, and fisheries.
The IDB projects that by 2050, damages caused by climate change could cost the region $100 billion annually.