WASHINGTON – A new study is predicting that a transition to a net-zero emission economy could create 15 million net new jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by 2030.
The study has been undertaken by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
“To support a sustainable recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the region urgently needs to create decent jobs and build a more sustainable and inclusive future,” the IDB and ILO said in a joint statement.
The report finds that the transition to a net-zero carbon economy would end 7.5 million jobs in fossil fuel electricity, fossil fuel extraction and animal-based food production.
However, the study notes that these lost jobs are “more than compensated” for new employment opportunities: 22.5 million jobs are created in agriculture and plant-based food production, renewable electricity, forestry, construction and manufacturing.
The report is the first of its kind to highlight how shifting to healthier and more sustainable diets, which reduce meat and dairy consumption while increasing plant-based foods, would create jobs and reduce pressure on the region’s unique biodiversity, according to the ILO and IDB.
“With this shift, LAC’s agri-food sector could expand the creation of 19 million full-time equivalent jobs, despite 4.3 million fewer jobs in livestock, poultry, dairy and fishing,” the report says.
Moreover, the report offers a blueprint on how countries can create decent jobs and transition to net-zero emissions.
This includes policies facilitating the reallocation of workers, advance decent work in rural areas, offer new business models, enhance social protection and support to displaced, enterprises, communities and workers.
“Social dialogue between the private sector, trade unions, and governments is essential to design long-term strategies to achieve net-zero emissions, which creates jobs, helps to reduce inequality and delivers on the (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals,” the report noted.