Industry  |  Publications  |  13.07.2011

The European Green Collar Economy

This meta-study published by the Green European Foundation gives a first overview on surveys that deal with the employment potential of greening the European economy.

To tackle both the economic and the ecological crisis, a fundamental change in the European economic structure towards more sustainability is needed. As the debate on a "Green New Deal" has entered political mainstream, the employment effects of a Green transformation of European economy become clear as well. While many people face growing unemployment, greening the economy has a grand employment potential in various sectors of the economy, ranging from low-skilled labour to high-skilled jobs in a growing eco-industry.
GEF has contributed to this debate on a Green New Deal by publishing a meta-study on the current potential of sustainable employment in Europe. The paper compares various definitions of "Green Collar Jobs" and underlines that social scientists haven't agreed on a common use of this term yet. Nevertheless, various employment sectors can be pointed out, which boast a relevant potential for new Green collar jobs. The study introduces several scenarios of Green employment presented by European institutions and researchers in the past years. Discussing different economic policies to stimulate the growth of the Green collar economy, the meta-study gives a concise overview on the current state of debate on the topic.
Though the potential of Green collar jobs is estimated differently in literature it seems clear that Green economy, especially the energy efficiency and building sector, can create millions of new jobs in Europe. The meta-study emphasises a need for further research in Europe and the need to foster specific and broad-ranging organised alliances for a green collar economy in Europe.

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