The green transition could create thousands of new jobs over the coming decades
With the Danish government’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 in relation to the level in 1990, Denmark is moving fast on the green transition. However, this ambitious goal seems not only to benefit the climate and environment, but also the Danish workforce.
The trade union United Federation of Danish Workers (3F) and the Economic Council of the Labour Movement (AE) have calculated that with 12 projects to reach the 70 per cent goal, a staggering 380,000 – mainly temporary – jobs could be created over the next 30 years. Of these jobs an estimated 17,000 jobs are permanent.
In the preface to the report “Green Transition - the way to new jobs and a better climate”, President of 3F Per Christensen and Chairman of the Board at 3F Anders Eldrup write:
“The green transition is no longer just a possibility; it is an absolute moral necessity. If we act wisely, this may also secure growth and increased job creation in Denmark, also through the export of Danish companies’ energy-efficient products, technologies and services.”
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Big investments required to reach full employment potential
The 12 projects that are the foundation of the green job calculation include establishing four waste sorting plants, establishing bio-refineries, establishing 4.2 GW offshore and 2.3 GW onshore wind farms, replacing gas- and oil-fired boilers with heat pumps, extending the district heating network and establishing 120 biogas plants.
Breaking down the numbers further in the analysis “Green transition can create thousands of new jobs” , 3F and AE state:
“These projects have the potential to create approximately 35,000 jobs per year over 5 years, while approximately 32,000 jobs will exist for a full 10 years. After this, there will remain temporary green jobs that will gradually decline over a 30-year period.”
These projects do, however, come at a cost, estimated to be around 37.5 billion euro in investments over next 30 years with most of the investments in the coming decade.
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Jobs in green sector on a steep increase worldwide
There is a job-winning industry in the estimates. Of the 380,000 jobs estimated to be created, the majority will be in the building and construction sector with about 252,000 jobs. Meanwile, the service sector will account for just below 76,000 jobs; the industrial sector will account for about 50,000 jobs; and in agriculture and other industries there should be about 1,200 jobs.
The conclusions in the reports by 3F and its partners are in line with other reports on the increase in job creation from the green sector. A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates that the renewable energy sector supported 11 million jobs worldwide in 2018, 7 per cent up from the year before. IRENA expects this increase to continue.According to an AE analyses published in January, 2020 (in Danish), the share of Danish industry employees producing green goods and services has increased by 2 per cent points since 2012 - from just under 11 per cent to just below 13 per cent. This corresponds to approx. 6,600 more green full-time equivalents (FTEs). In total, this means that more than every eighth employee in the industry produce green goods and services. Thus, there are approx. 35,600 FTEs in the industry engaged in producing green goods and services.
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