The pursuit of so-called “green jobs”-employment that contributes to protecting the environment and reducing humanity’s carbon footprint-will be a key economic driver of the 21st century. “Climate-proofing” the global economy will involve large-scale investments in new technologies, equipment, buildings, and infrastructure, which will provide a major stimulus for much-needed new employment and an opportunity for retaining and transforming existing jobs.
The number of green jobs is on the rise. The renewable energy sector has seen rapid expansion in recent years, with current employment in renewables and supplier industries estimated at a conservative 2.3 million worldwide. The wind power industry employs some 300,000 people, the solar photovoltaics (PV) sector an estimated 170,000, and the solar thermal industry more than 600,000.More than 1 million jobs are found in the biofuels industry growing and processing a variety of feedstocks into ethanol and biodiesel.