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
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.