Ground Report | New Delhi: Meeting climate goals; Measures to contain the rise in temperatures well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels would increase net jobs by about 8 million by 2050, mainly due to gains in the solar and wind industries, as published in the magazine ‘One Earth ‘ after a study that has created a model to assess how the attempt to achieve the global climate goal of the Paris Agreement would affect employment in the energy sector with data from more than 50 countries.
“Currently, an estimated 18 million people work in the energy sector, a figure that is likely to increase, and not decrease, to 26 million, that is, more than 50%, if we reach our global climate goals, says the corresponding author, Johannes Emmerling, an environmental economist at the RFF- CMCC European Institute of Economics and Environment, in Italy.
The manufacture and installation of renewable energy sources could become a third of all these jobs, for which countries can also compete in terms of location”. The study by Emmerling and his colleagues is the first based on a large data set from more than 50 countries, including the major fossil fuel-producing economies. The team combined this dataset with an integrated assessment model to make employment projections.
The model helps to see how the development of human beings and the decisions that societies make affect each other. Most of the previous analyzes were based on employment data from OECD countries and generalized the results to the rest of the world using a multiplier. (Meeting climate goals)
“The energy transition is increasingly being studied with very detailed models, spatial resolutions, timescales, and technological details,” explains Emmerling. However, the human dimension, access to energy, poverty, and also the distributional and employment implications are often considered in high detail. We have helped fill this gap by collecting and applying a broad set of data from many countries and technologies that can also be used in other applications. ”
In the researcher’s model, of the total jobs in 2050, 84% would correspond to the renewable sector, 11% to fossil fuels, and 5% to nuclear energy. While jobs in fossil fuel extraction, which make up 80% of today’s, would decline rapidly, these losses would be offset by rising jobs in solar and wind power manufacturing.
“Extraction sector jobs are more susceptible to decarbonization, so there need to be just transition policies,” says first author Sandeep Pai, who just graduated with a Ph.D in Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. at the University of British Columbia.
“For example, the mobility of jobs in manufacturing will be useful in areas where decarbonisation is widespread, he adds. In many cases, workers in the fossil fuel sector also have political influence due to their track record and high unionization rates, among other things, so as we move towards low-carbon sources, it is important to count on a plan for the general acceptability of climate policies ”.
The researcher’s next goal is to explore the changes in skill levels, education requirements, and salaries that can result from trying to meet the global climate goal of the Paris Agreement. They also envision that by being accessible to all these different groups around the world, it will inspire other data analysts to use it to run multiple scenarios, further clarifying the scope of jobs.