A focus on ‘greener’ transport could create 15 million jobs world-wide

The current focus on investment and transformation in the transport sector world-wide could create up to 15 million new jobs and help countries move to greener, healthier economies.

This forms part of a new report, Jobs in green and healthy transport: making the green shift, from the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the International Labour Organisation, that says the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to advance development of a structural transformation of the transport sector.

The report examines the employment situation of four green transport examples in 56 countries covering Europe, North America, Central Asia and the Caucasus, where it compared scenario-based projections to the year 2030 with ‘business as usual’ outlooks.

The scenario-based options look to an accelerated expansion of public transport and the electrification of private passenger and freight transport.

The study found that 10 million additional jobs could be created worldwide, 2.9 million in the UNECE region, if 50% of all vehicles manufactured were electric. In addition, it suggested that almost five million new jobs could be created worldwide-2.5 million in the UNECE region-if UNECE countries doubled investment in public transport. 

Other factors that could support job creation outside transport included increased spending on goods and services resulting from a reduction in spending on oil, and measures related to the production and use of energy. The electrification of private passenger and freight transport would also create jobs, particularly if the electricity came from renewable sources.

The report stated that greener transport systems produced by changes like these would also result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, air and noise pollution, and traffic congestion, which could also lead to fewer road accidents. 

“Pursuing the goal of an environmentally sustainable and inclusive society requires a structural transformation of the economy, including both changes in the products and services on offer and production processes. This structural transformation, which would include the transport sector, has the potential to create decent work and protect workers and their families, if it is accompanied by suitable policies,” said Catherine Saget, Team Leader at ILO.

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