G8 could create 1 million more renewable jobs by switching to clean energy: Greenpeace

Press release - 7 July, 2009
One million more jobs would be created in renewables in G8 countries by 2020 if the leaders of the world’s wealthiest countries, gathering in L’Aquila, agreed to switch from coal and other climate-destroying conventional energy sources to renewables in order to help slash carbon emissions and avert a climate catastrophe.

By committing to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020 (based on 1990 levels) the leadersof the world’s eight wealthiest industrialised countries could spark an energy revolution and help secure a strong UN climate treaty in Copenhagen in December.

The calculations, made by Greenpeace and the Australian-based Institute for Sustainable Futures (1), specialists in forecasting and modeling, reveals the move will provide one million jobs in renewables alone == 460,000 more jobs in the energy sector than would be available if they stay on the business as usual carbon-intensive path. This would cut power-related C02 emissions by 50%by 2030 (2).

“The quickest way to get people back to work, kick-start sustainable economic grow this clear, G8 leaders must tackle the twin crises of global economic recessionand climate change head on and together. Continuing prosperity depends on preserving the environment and tackling climate change. It is not a choice of green jobs or dirty jobs, but green jobs or ecological and social collapse,”said Tobias Muenchmeyer of Greenpeace’s Political Unit.

The estimate looks at the power industry and economic stimulus created by a G8 commitment to see emissions peak in 2015 and fall by 40% by 2020, below 1990 levels, and byat least 80% by 2050.

This morning, as a reminder of the urgency the world faces from climate change, Greenpeace volunteers in France floated a life-sized iceberg down the river Seine towards the Eiffel tower. Activist divers sent a clear message to the French president with banners reading "Sarkozy: climate leadership now" and "G8: climate leadership now”.

Meanwhile, in the Arctic, Greenpeace’s scientific expedition has come across disturbing signs of accelerating climate change. The Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise is in the Nares Strait, an area that is normally covered in ice until August, but already it is free of ice. In the words of one of the scientists on board, DrJason Box, it is “unprecedented” and that in an area of 450 km of open water they don't even bump into a single ice flow. 


Other contacts: Contacts in Italy for the G8:• Beth Herzfeld, Greenpeace International press officer: +44 (0)7717 802 891• Tobias Muenchmeyer, Greenpeace Political Unit: +49 (0)1511 453 3073To discuss powering green job creation in the G8 in detail:• Sven Teske, Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner: +31 621 296 894

VVPR info: For Arctic video footage contact l or +31 634 738 790.For photos contact John Novis at or +44 207 865 8230.