The specific arguments for and against green jobs, which are solutions to climate change or sustainability are discussed.
Green jobs combat climate change and even if climate change predictions do not arrive, many current or planned mitigation efforts are still worthwhile investments in sustainability. Any climate change project would create green jobs. In the unlikely even that climate change does not occur, we can rename the problem a need for sustainability and we’ll all still win. However, the argument continues: do green jobs exist?
The single most important piece of evidence that green jobs exist and will continue to create new jobs is the enormous amounts of investment into the green economic landscape. Billions of dollar are being invested into new companies and "Investment creates jobs." Specifically, the PERI (2008) reports six green industry sectors that are about to boom: building retrofit, mass transit, energy efficient automobiles, wind power, solar power, and cellulosic biofuels.
A UNEP (2008) reports $10 billion in investment were committed by leading investment groups by 2010, these groups represented $8 trillion dollars in assets. A Berkeley, California case study (2007) contained three noteworthy arguments for green jobs: 1) Green collar jobs are well suited for workers with barriers to employment - they offer low barriers to entry, meaning not even a high school degree is required; 2) people are interested in these jobs; 3) owners are willing to hire job ready applicants.
The arguments against green jobs focus on criticizing the meaning of the term “green job,” methodologies of the green literature, and paranoia against global economic change. Morriss et al. (2009) provide seven myths and their respective realities on green jobs:
Reason #1: There is no such thing as a green job because there is no uniformly agreed definition.
Reason #2: green jobs will not boost productive employment because estimates include huge numbers of clerical jobs that do not create actual goods or services for consumption.
Reason #3: the green jobs forecasts are unreliable because they are made upon poor economic models and dubious assumptions.
Reason #4: green jobs do not promote employment growth because they favor labor jobs over more efficient machines and technology.
Reason #5: the world economy cannot be remade because local modes of production are inadequate to supply the desires of any country; special outside firms would be needed.
Reason #6: mandates are not a substitute for markets, because companies react more swiftly to consumers than government entanglements.
Reason #7: wishing for technological progress is insufficient, because technologies preferred by green studies are incapable of reaching a meaningful scale to meet demand.
As mentioned before, the debate on whether green jobs exist is the same debate as whether climate change is real. They do exist (green jobs) and it is real (climate change). Climate change is the problem; green jobs are the solution. Wewill go into more depth in following posts to discover that even if climate change is not real, the cost savings we’d get in investing for green jobs for sustainability make green jobs the necessary future.