International pursuit of low-carbon policies has the potential to create twenty million jobs between now and 2020 in low-carbon energy in eight of the world’s leading economies — including the United States, China, India, and the United Kingdom. The report—”Low-Carbon Jobs in an Interconnected World“—comes from the Global Climate Network, a unique alliance of influential think tanks, including the Center for American Progress, that is coordinated by the Institute for Public Policy Research in London. In the words of John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, Copenhagen can be where world leaders “create millions of jobs in a new green and clean economy”:
This report shows that the over 110 heads of state meeting in Copenhagen don’t have to make a choice between jumpstarting lagging economies and promoting a clean-energy policy. The Global Climate Network has shown that by transforming the global economy beyond dirty carbon energy, leaders can easily make the prudent choice to create millions of jobs in a new green and clean economy.
The report argues that if governments take positive and immediate action to expand low-carbon energy markets, the benefits in terms of job creation and the increased welfare that employment brings to economies will be felt worldwide:
— In India: Implementation of the Government’s National Action Plan on Climate Change could create 10.5 million jobs in wind, solar, and biofuels.
– In China: Government wind, solar, and hydro power targets could lead to the creation of 6.79 million jobs.
– In the United States: Out of a possible 1.9 million extra low-carbon jobs, new U.S. and export markets in smart electricity meter technology alone could generate 416,000.
To create these job opportunities, the report calls for sufficient financing to ensure that a transition to low-carbon energy takes place across the globe and that workers are in a position to benefit; low-carbon industrial strategies, or packages of government policy to stimulate low-carbon technology markets and create jobs to be introduced in all major economies to trigger a shift towards a low carbon economy, and support for workers in high-carbon sectors who may lose out in a new carbon economy so they can remain in work while they retrain or to be given assistance to help them prepare for work in a low-carbon economy.