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Towards a green energy economy? Tracking the employment effects of low-carbon technologies in the European Union

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  • Markandya, Anil
  • Arto, Iñaki
  • González-Eguino, Mikel
  • Román, Maria V.

Abstract

In the view of pressing unemployment and environmental problems, different policies have been proposed to create jobs in the transition to a green economy, including the so-called “green jobs”. There has been an intense debate on the quantification of these employment effects, especially in the European Union. Most studies have focused on estimating gross future employment effects and have ignored the effects between different sectors and countries. This paper looks, for the first time, at the past net employment impacts from the transformation of the EU energy sector including spill-over effects, by using a multi-regional input–output model and the World Input–Output Database. The analysis is focused on the period (1995–2009) when the EU’s energy structure went through a significant shift, away from the more carbon intensive sources, towards gas and renewables. We estimate the net employment generated from this structural change at 530,000 jobs in the EU (0.24% of total employment in 2009), of which one third is due to trans-boundary effects within the EU (i.e. employment generated in one country due to the changes in another). Within the EU, the main gainers were Poland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain, and the main losers were Ireland, Lithuania, France and Czech Republic.

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  • Markandya, Anil & Arto, Iñaki & González-Eguino, Mikel & Román, Maria V., 2016. "Towards a green energy economy? Tracking the employment effects of low-carbon technologies in the European Union," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 1342-1350.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:179:y:2016:i:c:p:1342-1350
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.02.122
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