If you’ve been listening to governments around the world, you might have heard something along the lines of “Green jobs are imperative for our economic recovery.” That’s because almost every nation around the world talks about creating green jobs.
Yet, many don’t really know what a green job is outside of a few obvious examples like the renewable energy sector.
Let’s clearly define and identify green jobs and why they are so important going forward.
What Are Green Jobs?
There are actually two definitions that are widely accepted.
The first is the most basic and widely understood. Green jobs are those in which a business produces a good or provides a service that positively impacts the environment or conserves natural resources.
This is what most people think of when a politician or company mentions a green job. A perfect example would be someone working in the solar energy industry. The worker conserves natural resources (fossil fuels) by harvesting clean energy from the sun.
However, the second definition is what confuses a lot of people.
Another definition of green jobs are those wherein the worker’s duties entail making the company operations and processes environmentally friendly or using fewer natural resources.
An example of this definition is a lot more grey. For example, imagine an oil company. They may hire someone whose job it is to identify ways to lower emissions. That would be a green job, but they still work at an oil company.
Thus, not all of these jobs are going to come from sources you would expect.
Why Are They So Important?
Climate change is happening faster than scientists initially thought.
As a result, the world is running out of time. The only way to prevent it from worsening is to eliminate emissions and become a sustainable economy. However, that sounds a lot easier than it actually is.
Even with the majority of the populace in favor of the change, governments and companies are slow to act. This is why green jobs have become a buzzword for politicians. People want to hear and see more climate action, so it wins them popularity points.
However, make no mistake, green jobs are critical in the fight against climate change.
Ensuring that companies become more sustainable is very complicated, but even the smallest change can have a huge impact. For example, did you know that over 8.2 billion Taco Bell hot sauce packets are used every year?
Did you also know that none of them are recyclable? The company is now planning to make them recyclable by 2024.
Creating green jobs in existing companies is going to have the largest impact, but creating new jobs in emerging industries is just as important. Look no further than the renewable energy sector.
We Are Not Doing Enough
The bottom line is that despite all of the mentions and hype surrounding green jobs, they’re not growing fast enough. Sure there are thousands being created, but when compared to traditional jobs, it’s a drop in the bucket.
The transition to a sustainable economy needs to accelerate before it is too late.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.