Greenpeace: Renewables can create 8.5 million jobs

The renewable power industry could support 8.5 million jobs by 2030, if governments seize the opportunity to invest in a greener future, according to one of the most comprehensive plans for future sustainable energy provision launched today by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).

Greenpeace said that the global market for renewable energy sources such as solar energy or wind power could be worth more than 600 billion dollars by 2030.

The report: ‘Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook’, provides a detailed practical blueprint for cutting carbon emissions while achieving economic growth by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and energy efficiency. This phase-out of fossil fuels offers substantial benefits such as energy security, independence from world market fuel prices as well as the creation of millions of new green jobs.

“Our Energy Revolution scenario shows how to eliminate unpredictable fossil fuel costs, destructive mining and oil exploration and with it catastrophes such as the current BP Gulf oil spill,” said Sven Teske, Greenpeace International’s Senior Energy Expert and co-author of the report. “Investing in people, rather than dirty and dangerous fossil fuels not only boosts global economic development but stems catastrophic climate change.”

The Energy [R]evolution scenario shows how to create about 12 million jobs, that is 8.5 million in the renewables sector alone (wind energy, solar power), by 2030. Under business as usual global renewable power jobs would be only 2.4 million of the global power sector’s 8.7 million jobs. By implementing the Energy [R]evolution 3.2 million or over 33% more jobs globally will be created in the power sector.

"While many additional ‘Just Transition’ policies will be needed to ensure workers will reap the benefits of a new low-carbon economy -skills, social protection, quality of jobs; the Energy Revolution report introduces interesting ideas which will scale up investments in renewable energies, something crucial if we want to fight future unemployment in the energy sector and avoid the poorest of the planet, whose jobs depend on natural resources, paying the costs of business-as-usual" said Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation ( ITUC ).

The sustainable future of the planet is rooted in the investment in people and local communities who can install and maintain renewable energy sources, rather than further subsidising dirty and finite fossil fuels. The overall annual market for renewable technology will increase from around US$100 billion today, to more than US$600 billion by 2030.

Key to making the Energy [R]evolution a reality is creating a system in which investment costs are shared fairly under a global climate regime. One such mechanism, discussed in the report, is the Greenhouse Development Rights framework ( GDR ) ( 3 ) which calculates national shares of global greenhouse gas obligations based on a combination of responsibility ( contribution to climate change ) and capacity ( ability to pay ).

“The 2010 Energy Revolution report outlines pathways towards a 100% renewable energy supply for the world. It demonstrates that there is no technological barrier to achieving this vision and reaping its many benefits in terms of the environment and jobs. The barrier is political. All that is now needed to set sustainable energy future for our planet is the political will,” said Christine Lins, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council ( EREC ).

Global CO2 emissions under the Energy [R]evolution scenario would peak in 2015 and drop afterwards. Compared with 1990 CO2 emissions will be more than 80% lower by 2050 if the energy supply is based almost entirely on renewable energies. By 2050 around 95% of electricity could be produced by renewable energy.

Copies of the “Energy [R]evolution: A sustainable World Energy Outlook” report can be downloaded at: and For other regional reports please go to