Just as humans need food, water, and shelter to survive, the earth needs natural resources to thrive. But unlike us, the earth doesn’t have a job to contribute to the global economy.
That’s why, in the same way, that we rely on natural resources like lumber and petroleum, the earth relies on us to provide it with what it needs to continue functioning.
When discussing the most pressing issues of our time, few topics are as important as the environment.
Projected to be the most serious issue facing humanity, environmental degradation ranging from deforestation to climate change to chemical spills are causing measurable and irreparable harm to the planet as we know it.
In the face of such an existential threat, it is important for politicians, businesses and citizens to find ways to counteract the ravages of our time.
Green Jobs are essential for sustainable development
Although there is no universal definition of what makes a job “green,” there are three common themes shared by all green jobs.
- First, a green job is one that reduces pollution, fighting climate change, and protecting the environment.
- Second, a green job provides a salary or wages, allowing workers to support their families and purchase goods and services.
- Finally, a green job provides meaningful work and career path opportunities for a variety of people, including those who have been impacted by climate change or other environmental issues.
While the debate over climate change can be heated, the notion that green jobs are necessary for sustainable development is one that many people agree on.
The fields of construction, energy, and transportation all provide abundant opportunities for well-paying, sustainable jobs, from solar panel installation to wind turbine maintenance to car repair.
However, the term “green jobs” is often used to mask the fact that a variety of jobs can be “green”—anything from working in an office to install solar panels to rebuilding homes in need of energy-efficient updates.
Today, millions of people worldwide have permanent jobs in the renewable energy sector. From China to the EU and the US, these green jobs help drive sustainable energy production and ensure the viability of green energy in the future.
To ensure that green jobs remain a sustainable and desirable career option, governments and industries must work together to ensure that employers are able to find the highly skilled workers they need.
Benefits of creating plenty of Green Jobs:
While the US government is working towards creating more Green Jobs to stimulate the economy, it is important to remember that these jobs come with benefits besides financial ones. In fact, the economic benefits are just a side effect since the main goal is to improve the environment.
The people who choose to work in these jobs are going to be helping their communities in numerous ways. Through their work, they’re creating a better quality of life for not only themselves but for future generations as well.
Opening your eyes to the green energy jobs market is the first step. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, green jobs as defined by the Department, are defined as occupations in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
Green jobs often involve renewable energy, pollution reduction, recycling, and green transportation. The green jobs market is quickly growing and a wide range of occupations can be found within it.
Challenges of creating green jobs:
Job creation is a big priority for many politicians and other leaders in the environmental movement. For many in the business world, though, the more pressing concern is creating green jobs.
The difference in goals between these two groups is understandable, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing that they aren’t exactly on the same page.
Over the next 20-30 years, the world needs to create millions of jobs for people who are entering the workforce, and the fact is that we need a lot more of them to be green.
The green economy is a great opportunity for the U.S. to create millions of good-paying jobs in a host of industries and occupations. But the transition from fossil fuels to green energy sources is not without its challenges.
As President Obama noted in his State of the Union address last month: “ I hear people saying that [the green jobs] industry will create jobs that are just like jobs on the oil rigs, or just like jobs rebuilding our homes after a natural disaster. Well, it won’t. These jobs are different.” He’s right.
The green economy is comprised of a number of industries, including energy efficiency and renewables, which require different skills, require different equipment, and require different forms of training.
Redefining Green Jobs for a Sustainable Economy
The green jobs movement continues to evolve, with recent research suggesting that these jobs are not only better for the environment, they also pay better. The New York Times reports that a new report from the nonprofit group Demos notes that “green jobs pay better than average, with wages ranging from $15 to $26 an hour.”
This is roughly $8 to $14 dollars more than the average wage for jobs in the U.S., which was $8.79 in April. In addition, the report notes that “the current green economy is large and growing rapidly,” with more than 2.7 million jobs already and 43 percent growth since 2007.
The U.S. economy has long been powered by fossil fuels, but recently there has been a growing call to move away from such dirty energy sources in favor of clean, renewable power like solar and wind energy.
According to some researchers, this could be a great opportunity to jumpstart a whole new generation of industries and jobs in this country, if we choose to seize it. A recent report concluded that a green economy could bring about $600 billion in new investments to the U.S. economy and create 1.9 million green jobs by 2030.
The green economy is one of the most exciting concepts to become a reality and the fact that we’re still waiting for it to really take off shows just how important energy-saving products and sustainable jobs are. While we don’t have an official definition of what a green job is, we can say that it is one that offers a way for people to make money by helping the environment.