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Investment into the renewable energy sector is a bigger job creator than investment into the fossil fuel industry

Investment into the renewable energy industry is a bigger job creator than investment into the fossil fuel industry, according to a recent report from The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

The new report shows a clear path to economic growth, growth of electricity generation infrastructure, and job creation, through an investment commitment of “just” 1.5% of GDP per year into renewable energy and energy efficiency.

According to the director-general of GGGI and former head of the UN’s climate change secretariat, Yvo de Boer, the report is a good counterpoint to the oft-stated claim that economic growth and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are mutually exclusive.

“Significant progress has already been made in overcoming the hitherto conventional wisdom that taking steps to cut GHGs was incompatible with economic growth,” Boer noted. “This report moves the debate another positive step forward by showing that employment and development result from sustainable, green growth.”

The new report is based on the projected impacts of large-scale renewable energy plans in 5 different countries (Brazil, South Africa, Germany, South Korea, and Indonesia). Job creation levels were then calculated using a variety of inputs including policies and investment regulations.

In Brazil and South Africa, every $1 million invested in renewable energy would result in the creation of 16.2 and 33.1 jobs, respectively.

The director general of UNIDO, Li Yong, stated: “The results of the five countries presented in this report show clearly that green growth investments are not only viable or beneficial for the most highly industrialised countries. On the contrary, all countries, be they developed or developing, can derive significant benefits from investments in clean and renewable energy.”