Solar panel installation

Renewable energy provides an estimated 5.7 million jobs worldwide1

How climate policy can lead to a stronger and more stable economy

The old view of climate policy as an economic burden is giving way to a new vision of a dynamic, prosperous green economy. Climate policy stimulates investment in innovative, advanced technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels, electric vehicles, fuel cells and smart grids. There tend to be more jobs per unit of investment in low-carbon sectors such as renewable energy, recycling and energy efficiency than in the sectors they are displacing such as coal-fired power generation or waste disposal.2

Economic co-benefits include:

Conflicts

Key messages

  1. A low-carbon economy needs strong government support including a clear regulatory and cost framework, ambitious long term targets, and investment in education, research and infrastructure.

  2. Resource use and carbon emissions need to be kept within sustainable limits through caps and/or taxes. This will prevent increased consumption from wiping out resource efficiency savings.

  3. Governments need to take action to protect vulnerable sectors of society from the impacts of a low-carbon transition: re-training workers who lose their jobs; helping businesses to introduce low-carbon technologies; funding home efficiency improvements for low income households; and helping developing countries to ‘leapfrog’ to sustainability.

  4. In the long term, we need to restructure our economies away from a dependence on continuous growth in material consumption, so that we can achieve well-being for ten billion people in a world of finite resources

Links to other co-benefits pages