Jobs and society  |  Publications  |  08.07.2011

Low Carbon Jobs for Europe: Current Opportunities and Future Prospects

A report by WWF gathers evidence of already-existing European jobs which are directly related to renewable energy, sustainable transport and energy efficient goods and service, and assesses the job creation potential in these sectors.

Available figures suggest that in Europe close to 400,000 people are employed in renewable energy activities, some 2.1 million in efficient transport, and over 900,000 in energy efficiency goods and services. These jobs include, for example, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of wind turbines and solar panels, and construction works to improve efficiency in existing buildings. Related indirect jobs are estimated at approximately another 5 million. All are showing significant growth, with particular focus on wind power, solar photovoltaic, bioenergy, public transport and building sectors.

Some 130 million people are employed in the EU altogether. The number of green jobs is still a relatively small share of that total, but compares favourably with the 2.8 million jobs in polluting industries (mining, elec¬tricity, gas, cement, and iron and steel sectors). And indications are that jobs in the renewable energy sector and other green economic activities will continue to ex¬pand in the future, whereas employment in extractive and polluting industries continues to decline.

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