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Seven green jobs for every job lost in dirty energy sectors

Sep 14, 2009 -

Greenpeace report: green energy investments could create 30% more jobs

Working for the Climate: Renewable Energy & the Green Job [R]evolution

Brussels/Canberra - Investment in renewables and energy efficiency would create seven times more green jobs over the next ten years than would be lost in the coal and nuclear sectors in Europe, according to a report launched today by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), and backed by trade unions.

A switch from dirty energy to renewables and energy efficiency would not just avoid over 470 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in OECD Europe, but would create 30% more jobs by 2020 than if we continue investing in fossil and nuclear fuels. If Europe chooses a clean energy pathway, 1.2 million people would be employed in the power generation sector, compared to eight hundred and fifty thousand under business as usual.[1] The report finds that over three hundred and eighty thousand jobs would be created in renewables and energy efficiency over the next decade, as opposed to some fifty thousand that would be lost in the coal and nuclear sectors.

“For each job lost in the coal and nuclear sectors in Europe, seven jobs would be created in renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next ten years. Green investments are an opportunity to revitalise the economy: postponing climate action is prolonging the economic recession and cheating us out of thousands of jobs. European leaders need to trigger an energy revolution and support and re-train communities affected by this technology shift,” said Frauke Thies, Greenpeace EU energy expert.

“Now is the time to put in place a `just transition' to sustainably transform the jobs of today and develop the decent and green jobs of tomorrow,” added Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). “The union movement, as well as the authors of this report, believe ambitious climate action by world leaders can and must be a driver for sustainable economic growth and social progress.”

The report: `Working for the Climate: Renewable Energy & The Green Job [R]evolution' is based on Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution report and research from the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the Sydney University of Technology.[2] The report shows that by 2020, 5 million people could work for the renewable power industry globally and more than eight hundred and twenty thousand in Europe.

"There are already 450,000 people working in the renewable energy industry in Europe, representing a turnover of more than EUR 45 billion. This research proves that renewable energy is key to tackling both the climate and economic crises," said Christine Lins, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).

Notes to Editor

For a full copy of the report please go to: or visit

1.In October 2008, Greenpeace and EREC published a report entitled `Energy [R]evolution: a Sustainable Global Energy Outlook' that sets out a vision for a low-carbon global energy supply and comparing it to the energy projection put forward by the International Energy Agency (IEA 2007). The report was developed in conjunction with specialists from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the Dutch Institute Ecofys and more than 40 scientists and engineers from universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry around the world.

2.Greenpeace undertook this new study to determine whether there would be jobs created in the electricity sector by the nine-fold increase in renewables and massive global energy efficiency measures required under its Energy [R]evolution scenario (excluding heating, cooling and transport).

Contact information

* Frauke Thies EU energy campaigner - renewable energy Telephone: +32 2 274 1912

* Mark Breddy Communications manager Telephone: +32 2 274 19 03; 0496/15 62 29 (mobile)

* In Canberra, Australia: Sven Teske - Greenpeace International climate and energy campaigner and lead-author of the report: +61 434 083712


Updated: 2016/06/30

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