Cornell University

Cornell Global Labor Institute

16 East 34th Street, 4th Floor, 212-340-2840

United Nations Green Jobs Report

The Cornell GLI examines the potential job impact of climate, sustainable transportation, renewable energy policies. 

The GLI's work on Green Jobs began in 2008 with the release of the Cornell GLI- Worldwatch report on Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low Carbon World

Ronnie Goldberg, IOE; Achim Steiner, UNEP; Juan Somavia; ILO, Guy Ryder, ITUC; Nick Nuttall, UNEPIn partnership with the Worldwatch Institute, the Cornell Global Labor Institute co-authored a groundbreaking study on green jobs.  Commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the joint 'Green Jobs Initiative' with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Union Confereration (ITUC) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the report is the first comprehensive report to analyze the current level and projected growth of green jobs on a global scale.  

The report highlights the positive connections between stabilizing the climate and job growth.  While a transition to cleaner, most sustainable forms of energy will cause a reduction in employment for carbon intensive industries, overall this transition will likely result in a net gain of employment.  Moreover, the cost of not acting or being slow to act will have even greater negative consequences on the economy and jobs.

Some key findings of the report are:

  • Renewable energy jobs- now at over 2.3 million- are rapidly expanding
  • By 2030, wind and solar could reach upwards of 8 million jobs by 2030
  • During the next two decades, public and private investment for retrofitting or weatherizing buildings could add 3.5 million jobs in the European Union and United States.
  • "Clean tech" investment reached $148 billion in 2007, up 60 percent from 2006

Sean Sweeney, Cornell Global Labor Institute; Michael Renner, Cornell Global Labor Institute; Juan Somavia, ILO; Jill Kubit, Cornell Global Labor InstituteThe report emphasizes that green jobs will need to be scaled up dramatically in order to address the two most pressing issues facing humanity- climate change and the employment crisis- and highlights policies across the globe that have stimulated investment in the green economy and created new jobs.

For the full report, click Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World.

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