EU needs green jobs strategy by 2011, say MEPs

SchroedterMEPs have called on the European Commission to draw up a green jobs strategy by 2011 that should include “specific policies” to speed-up Europe’s transition to a green economy.

The report outlining the call to action on green jobs was drawn up by MEP Elisabeth Schroedter and adopted by the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

A green jobs strategy should include more and specialised training in green jobs, more funding, and incentives to encourage companies to invest in clean technologies, Schroedter’s report said.

Moreover, yesterday, José Manuel Barroso – European Commission President – in his State of the Union speech said that the EU must create an extra three million green jobs within a decade.

It is not hard to imagine that wind energy is already a key source of green jobs. What is more impressive is EWEA’s latest statistics show that the wind power sector will create some 250,000 new jobs in Europe in the next decade. This would take the total of wind energy jobs to 450,000 by 2020.

Worked out on a weekly basis, that’s around 450 new green jobs per week over the next decade. Wind energy fits in neatly with both the Parliament and the Commission’s vision for more green jobs.

At an EWEA debate on green jobs held in June, Maria da Graça Carvalho, MEP, called for investment in research, education and training in sectors that will be key for European competitiveness and industry. “Clean energy is one of the keys…but we need to be more prepared. We need more engineers and researchers,” she said.

Last year, the WWF found that there are now more jobs in the green sector than in polluting industries such as mining, electricity and cement production. It noted that jobs in the wind turbines, photovoltaic, bioenergy and energy efficient buildings are expected to grow in particular. EWEA is set to release a new publication on green jobs in wind energy this autumn.

By Zoë Casey,