Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 19, Issue 3.
Welcome to another issue of MEQ. Readers will find in this issue a set of interesting papers handling matters related to environmental management and environmental quality issues from different parts of the world.
By the time this issue of MEQ goes to press, representatives from over 180 countries who gathered in Bali, Indonesia, to map a post 2012 agreement, there is a realization of the fact that the challenge of climate change also presents opportunities for new industries and employment.
“Millions of new jobs are among the many silver, if not indeed gold-plated linings on the cloud of climate change,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Current research is showing that these jobs are not for just the middle classes the so-called “green collar” jobs - but also for workers in construction, sustainable forestry and agriculture to engineering and transportation.
A recently issued report titled “Green jobs: can the transition to environmental sustainability spur new kinds and higher levels of employment?” commissioned by UNEP, in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), has shown the following facts:
In the US alone, the environmental industry in 2005 generated more than 5.3 million jobs ten times the number in the US pharmaceutical industry.
The renewable energy programmes in Germany and Spain are merely ten years old but have already created several hundred thousand jobs.
The Indian city of Delhi is introducing new eco-friendly compressed natural gas buses that will create an additional 18,000 new jobs.
The ethanol programme in Brazil has created half a million jobs and its bio-diesel programme is specifically designed to benefit hundreds of thousands of mostly poor smallholder farmers.
By the year 2020, Germany will have more jobs in the field of environmental technologies than in its entire automotive industry.
In Europe, a 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency would create about a million jobs. The same applies in emerging and developing countries.
The report shows signs for hope. The transition is being spurred on by the shifting relationship between environmental advocates, organized labour and heads of industry from one of suspicion that environmental regulation was bad for business and bad for jobs, to one of cooperation based on mutual self-interest. This is certainly the right approach and a positive way forward.
Enjoy your reading!
Walter Leal Filho