Report: Strong Copenhagen Deal Means Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

July 6, 2010

WASHINGTON—As the deadline for an international climate treaty in Copenhagen draws near, a report launched today by Greenpeace International and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), shows the world stands to gain 6.9 million jobs by 2030 in the clean energy sector if a strong deal is reached.

A switch from coal to renewable electricity generation will not just avoid 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions, but will create 2.7 million more jobs by 2030 than if we continue business as usual. Conversely, the global coal industry - which currently supports about 4.7 million employees worldwide - is likely to contract by more than 1.4 million jobs by 2030, due to rationalization measures in existing coal mines.

"Global leaders can tackle the twin crises of global economic recession and climate change head on by investing in renewable energy," said Damon Moglen, Greenpeace USA global arming campaign director. "For each job lost in the coal industry our green energy scenario, known as the Energy [R]evolution, creates three new jobs in the renewable power industry. We can choose green jobs and growth or unemployment, ecological and social collapse."

Greenpeace's latest research provides a model for cutting emissions while achieving economic growth, illustrates how the transition to clean energy will provide more jobs by 2030 in the power sector than would be available if it stays on the current carbon-intensive path. However, leaders and governments must act on this information as soon as possible to provide necessary jobs and retraining.

"Now is the time to put in place a 'just transition' to sustainably transform the jobs of today and develop the decent and green jobs of tomorrow, "added Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). "The union movement, as well as the authors of this report, believe ambitious climate action by world leaders can and must be a driver for sustainable economic growth and social progress."

The report: 'Working for the Climate: Renewable Energy & The Green Job [R]evolution' is based on Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution (1) and research from the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the University of Technology Sydney (2). The report shows that by 2030, 6.9 million people could work for the renewable power industry, and another 1.1 million jobs would be created due to higher efficiency in electrical applications (3).

"There are already 450,000 people working in the renewable energy industry in Europe,

representing a turnover of more than EUR 40 billion. This research proves that renewable energy is key to tackling both the climate and economic crises," said Christine Lins, Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).


Michael Crocker, Greenpeace USA media director, 202-215-8989

Alexandra Dawe, Greenpeace International communications officer: +31 629 00 1146

Sven Teske, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner in Canberra/ Australia: +61434083712

Greenpeace international Press Desk, +31 20 718 24 70

Notes: 1. In October 2008 Greenpeace International and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) published a report called Energy [R]evolution: a Sustainable Global Energy Outlook that sets out a vision for a low-carbon global energy supply comparing it to the energy projection put forward by the International Energy Agency (IEA 2007). The report was developed in conjunction with specialists from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the Dutch Institute Ecofys and more than 40 scientists and engineers from universities, institutes and the renewable energy industry around the world. 2. Greenpeace undertook this new study to determine whether there would be jobs created by this nine-fold increase in renewable energy, and massive global energy efficiency measures required for the Energy [R]evolution by researching jobs in power generation and electrical efficiency (excluding heating, cooling and transport). 3. Efficiency to improve building insulation is not included in this number and would be additional. For a full copy of the report please go to: or visit To get a copy of our media briefing on this report please go to: For a full list of Greenpeace climate briefings please go to: Greenpeace’s Copenhagen Climate Summit Demands: -We now know that an increase in global temperature of even 1.5°C could lead to irreversible impacts and 2°C risks triggering catastrophic runaway climate change. A global plan is needed that ensures that global emissions peak by 2015 and be as close to zero as possible by 2050, compared to 1990 levels; -Industrialized countries must commit to at least 40% emissions cuts by 2020, compared to 1990 levels; -Industrialized countries must provide adequate and predictable funding of USD 140 billion a year to support clean energy and other mitigation activities, forest protection and adaptation in developing countries; -A funding mechanism for ending gross deforestation and associated emissions in developing countries by 2020 must be established with priority protection given to areas with high conservation value and those areas important for the livelihood of indigenous peoples and forest communities; -Developing countries should achieve at least 15-30 % deviation from projected greenhouse gas emissions growth by 2020. Two thirds of these emissions reductions should be supported by industrialized countries.

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