The number of Jobs dependent on the Environment and Resource Efficiency improvements by ECORYS

Posted in July 2020

This is a very interesting study into environmental jobs and well worth a read. Spanning 94 pages there is a lot of good information here:

The Executive Summary of this paper:

A number of studies have shown the positive link between environmental performance and job creation. The research shows how ‘greening the economy’ can boost job creation in areas directly connected to the environment such as conservation, waste, water and air quality. These are often referred to as eco-industries and are covered in studies such as:

ï‚·Analysis of the EU eco-industries, their employment, and export potential (Ecotec, 2002);
ï‚·Eco-industry, its size, employment, perspectives and barriers to growth in an enlarged EU (Ernst & Young, 2006), and;
ï‚·Study on the competitiveness of the EU eco-industry (Ecorys and IDEA, 2009).

These studies use a statistically delineated definition which relies heavily on Environmental Protection Expenditures (EPE). However, this definition focuses on money spent to protect the environment, and is much weaker on jobs that depend on a good environment, or depend on natural resources.

A study by GHK, IEEP and Cambridge Econometrics (2007) on Links between the environment, economy and jobs, looked not just at the direct jobs captured in the eco-industry concept, but also used multiplier effects to calculate the ‘indirect’ jobs created and jobs dependent on a good environment within for example eco-tourism and organic farming. The different approaches show how methodologies and conceptual design of the studies are central to the outcomes. Moreover, in later years the concept of resource efficiency has enjoyed increased attention. It is based on the idea that economic activity generally depletes finite, and also renewable, resources. Some resources are also concentrated in a few countries and/or in inaccessible areas. The result has been increased natural resource prices, volatility on commodity markets and uncertainty which is harmful to the competitiveness of European companies. By boosting resource efficiency – to do more with less – could therefore improve the competitiveness and create jobs.

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