Europe: Green jobs

The whole world is facing with the climate changes of the last decades and with Europe2020 Europe made one step in the right direction and tries to reduce the CO2 emissions.

The main targets are to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels by 2020, to increase the share of renewables in final energy consumption to 20% and to move towards a 20% increase in energy efficiency.

In this context it is more and more talked about “green jobs”. But what exactly is a green job? The International Labour Organization defines it for example like this:


“´Green jobs´ does not lend itself to a tight definition but certainly includes the direct employment which reduces environmental impact ultimately to levels that are sustainable. This includes jobs that help to reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials, decarbonizes the economy, protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity and minimize the production of waste and pollution. […] A somewhat wider concept of “green jobs” might embrace any new job in a sector which has a lower than average environmental footprint, contributes to improving overall performance, albeit perhaps only marginally.” ILO[2008]

According to this it can be expected that while the EU is trying to protect the earth and its precious resources new jobs are created. New jobs, where also new skills will be needed, and in this case it should also be mentioned that green jobs are not just hi-tech jobs for the educated elite. Of course scientists, researchers and engineers will be needed to develop cutting-edge technologies that will save energy and resources.

However, green jobs will also affect the sectors of transport, energy supply and construction to apply the new sustainable solutions to the people.

For example, an architect may design the perfect eco-house, using the latest technologies to reduce power usage and increase thermal efficiency, but the building work will still be carried out by trades-people like joiners, electricians and plumbers. Therefore the possibility to train these workers, to be able to exploit the latest green technologies and applications, also has to be created.

Certainly this new way of sustainable growth will not be the best for everyone, because there will be people who lose their old job and green energy is also often predict to be more expensive than of fossil fuels. The possibilities for green jobs are in nearly all sectors of the labour market, but it will be a hard way if they are accepted or not and it is again in the hands of the politicians because without the right laws the industry will not change anything.



6 thoughts on “Europe: Green jobs

  1. I think that in crises is very important for that we thinking on a renewable energy and support green jobs – this is our future. Politicians promise to create a lot of green jobs – but at the moment all government deals with crisis instead of support renewable energy, clean tech, green building, sustainable businesses… I would like have a green job and give a small contribution to better world. We know that solution won´t be fast and that we need a more than 10,20 years but somewhere we must start. We need new sustainable solutions, new politic of education and the most important change people’s mentality, especially politicians. In all crisis and environmental problem I see opportunity for better life condition and greener earth.

  2. The theme sustainability is a much discussed topic and in my opinion a really important one. It is good, that Europe cares much about this topic and wants to reduce the CO2 emissions.
    The idea of green jobs is a step in the right direction. It helps to achieve the aim of providing the environment and act more sustainable. Additionally, green jobs mean low-skilled jobs and not less. For example Hungary planed a major project where the country built a canal which link the Danube with another major river. In this way the country provides agricultural irrigation and improved transport emissions. Around 100000 workers who built and around 40000 workers who maintained were needed.
    Of course, as the article says, there will be some people who lose their jobs but there are also people who gain a job.
    In addition, I think creating green jobs is not enough. In general it is important that everyone cares about sustainability and tries to protect our earth by for example using multiple sockets, separating rubbish, driving more by bus or going by bicycle and trying to reduce flights.

  3. To accept new trends, we need to change old-thinking to new-thinking model. I think that green jobs is new trend, that in future will develop and it’s one of way how to improve our economical situation. Of course, it’s more specific, time-consuming and high cost case. We will need more time to do research and analyse to get better conditions for that. Anyway, we need not just support from government but from civilization, that they need to be ready to step one step forward and accept new way – green thinking. Of course, green jobs have pros/cons, but in general it just will help to improve our environment: reducing CO2, develop sustainable business etc.

    To improve our global economic situation we have plenty of opportunities – we need just only use them, in this case- green jobs!

  4. I belive that these kind of green jobs are our future and the faster we realize this the better. It is both helping the planet that we live on and us. New opportunities and jobs will be created and the more effort we put in researching in this area, the better our future will become. Maybe it feels a little difficult for people right now and it will be more expensive with green energy, But this is something that is necisary so the more research we make about renewable energy, and the more we use it, the cheaper and better it will become. It is expensive and difficult also because it is unusual i guess. We have to start somewhere to slow global warming, increase employment and create new jobs,, and i think this is it. Green jobs! People need to realize the importance of green jobs and try to see it in a long term perspective and not only think about right now. We need to make this a sustainable trend.

  5. In general I also think, that in the future “green jobs” will become more and more important. Especially in the renewable energy sector there are a lot of job possibilities in the next years. In my opinion every country should invest into renewable energies, but every country should concentrate on one renewable energy form. For example in my opinion there is a too high focus on solar-energy in Germany. I think that the solar technology doesn’t make that much sense in Germany, because of few sun hours during the year. Countries with more sun hours per year should put their focus on this kind of renewable energy.


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