The 316-page study from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) reinforces similar research from the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).

The research provides “clear evidence” that there are net-gains in employment generation by making investments in the clean energy industry rather than in the conventional, greenhouse-gas emitting fossil fuel industry.

GGI director-general Yvo de Boer said: “Significant progress has already been made in overcoming the hitherto conventional wisdom that taking steps to cut GHGs is incompatible with economic growth.

“This report moves the debate another positive step forward by showing that employment and development result from sustainable, green growth.”

Shared benefits

The report claims that global investments in clean energy must triple by 2030 to meet IPCC intermediate emissions targets, so the planet would be spending around $870bn on renewables and $435bn on energy efficiency, equivalent to 1.5% of GDP.

The study models the impact of this increased spending on five countries – Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, and South Korea – finding that the employment benefits could be shared by advanced and developing nations.

UNIDO director general LI Yong said: “The results in the five countries presented in this report show clearly that green growth investments are not just viable or beneficial for the most highly-industrialized countries. 

“On the contrary, all countries, be they developed or developing, can derive significant benefits from investments in clean and renewable energy.”

In May, an REA report found that green energy jobs in the UK are growing seven times faster than the national average.

The UKERC released a study last November, which claimed that nvestment in renewables and energy efficiency can create up to 10 times as many jobs per unit of electricity as investment in fossil fuels, finds a new report.

Brad Allen

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