G20 leaders asked for one hour to hear about the green energy revolution

In an impressively unique attempt to promote the global need for the creation of green jobs, world leaders attending last week’s G20 summit in Seoul were each asked to set aside one hour in the next few months to learn how their countries can benefit by economic solutions to complex 21st century problems.

“Creating green jobs on a massive scale is a two-way street,” Ditlev Engel, President and CEO of wind energy Vestas Wind Systems A/S, said in a press release announcing the plan put forth at the G20 Business Summit, a largely unreported side session to the main meeting, by a working group for creating green jobs.

“Give us the policy frameworks, and we’ll give you the results. We’ll make the investments, we’ll take the risks, and we’ll create the jobs. But this requires a policy framework that re-balances the incentives indisputably in favour of green investment.”

The green jobs working group is comprised of CEOs and chairmen from Cisco Systems, Inc.; EDF; GDF Suez; Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.; PGE Polska Energetyczna S.A.; Robert Bosch GmbH; Shanfari Group of Companies; Siam Cement Group and Vestas, a global leader in wind power.

The press release said Engel, the working group convener, and his colleagues were to personally present tailor-made recommendations specific to each G20 country.

After spending three months developing a report on creating green jobs, the group wants G20 leaders to commit to setting a robust price on carbon in order to change people’s behaviour and investment decisions; dramatically scale up research and development; eliminate fossil fuel subsidies within five years or earlier; and allow free trade in environmental goods and services.

“It’s not a one-size fits all approach,” Engel said in the press release. “Our offer to each of the G20 leaders is simple: give us an hour of your time and we’ll come to you. Give us a date in your calendar and we’ll help you create a tailor-made policy framework to meet your country’s specific needs. Instead of a 1 x 20 solution, we suggest a 20 x 1 solution, finding what works best for each country.”

The release also noted nations that have been fastest to embrace the green economy have already created huge numbers of green jobs and new economic growth engines that are not dependent on fossil fuels or scarce natural resources.

“The ‘green jobs race’ is on,” Engel was reported as saying. “The question is, how much can each G20 member benefit? This is why we’re asking each G20 leader to give us a date, an hour of their time, so we can help them and their countries win.”

By Chris Rose, blog.ewea.org/