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Sunday, 30 January 2011

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Green jobs to double by 2020

The global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from US$ 1370 billion at present to US$ 2740 billion by 2020. Half of this market is in energy efficiency while the balance is in sustainable transport, water, sanitation and waste management.

The Green Jobs Asia project is being implemented in Sri Lanka from October 2010 till July 2012 supported by the Australian Government under the ILO Australia partnership,” said Labour and Labour Relations Minister Gamini Lokuge at the opening of the National Green Jobs Conference at the Ceylon Continental Hotel, Colombo.

The conference held on January 24 and 25 was organised by the International Labour Organisation, Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations and the Australian Government.

Minister Lokuge said that green jobs reduce the environmental impact of enterprises and economic sectors, to levels that are sustainable.

This includes jobs that help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity. Reduce energy, materials and water consumption through high efficiency strategies, de carbonise the economy and minimise or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution.

According to a report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) under a joint green jobs initiative with the International Labour Office (ILO), growing numbers of green jobs will be created as the move is towards a low-carbon and more sustainable economy.

Additional jobs will be created, some employment will be substituted, certain jobs may be eliminated without direct replacement, many existing professions such as plumbers will simply be transformed and redefined, employment will be affected in four ways towards a greater sustainability by green jobs.

The main goal of the Green Jobs Project is to assist Sri Lanka to shift to a low-carbon, environmentally friendly and climate resilient economy that helps accelerate the jobs recovery, reduce social gaps, support development goals and realise decent work.

The main activities of the project in Sri Lanka include a research study on the environment-employment economy linkages; training, awareness raising programs to address the needs of social partners and a demonstration project for the creation of green jobs and decent work in selected sectors.

Around 2.3 million people have in recent years found new jobs in the renewable energy sector alone. Employment in alternative energies may rise to 2.1 million in wind and 6.3 million in solar power by 2030.

Projected investments of US$ 630 billion in 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs in the renewable energy sector. In agriculture 12 million people could be employed in biomass for energy and related industries.

Investments in improved energy efficiency in buildings could generate an additional two to 3.5 million green jobs in Europe and United States.

Six technical sessions were held during the two days which included Green jobs for a sustainable future, Sri Lanka’s policy outlook-synergies to realise green jobs potential, Promoting green jobs in Sri Lanka through tripartism and the Green jobs perspectives in key sectors.

The Green Jobs Initiative is a partnership established in 2007 between the ILO, UNEP and the International Trade Union Confederation ITUC. The International Organisation of Employers (IOE) joined in 2008.

 

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