Science has confirmed that to avert catastrophic climate changethe world’s most industrialised nations must cut carbon emissionsby at least 40% by 2020, compared to 1990 levels. To do this weneed to make a massive, rapid switch to renewable energy toprovide around 30% of the world’s energy by 2020.The Greenpeace International’s Energy [R]evolution published inOctober 2008 sets out a vision of how to achieve this. The reportoutlines two scenarios, the Reference scenario is the InternationalEnergy Association’s ‘World Energy Outlook 2007’ projection,extrapolated from 2030 to 2050. The Energy [R]evolution scenariowas developed to show how, technically and financially, the worldcould increase its production of renewable energy by nine times,replacing nuclear and a proportion of coal-fired power, to avoidcatastrophic climate change.
Greenpeace undertook this study to determine whether there wouldbe jobs created by this nine-fold increase in renewable energy, andmassive global energy efficiency measures required for the Energy[R]evolution by researching jobs in power generation and electricalefficiency (excluding heating, cooling and transport). And if so, howmany compared to business as usual, with little or no action toavert climate change?We found that under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, there wouldbe an overall increase of around 2 million power sector jobs over20 years. But if we carry on without measures to make the shift toclean energy, we will see sector-wide job losses – half a millionenergy supply jobs would disappear between 2010 and 2030.With policies to create an Energy [R]evolution, there would bemore than 8 million jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiencyin 2030, more than three times as many than with a ‘business asusual’ approach.
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