Greening the transport sector in the post COVID-19 recovery could create up to 15 million jobs worldwide, according to a new study from the International Labor Organization and the UN Economic Commission for Europe. Lee Kok Leong, executive editor, Maritime Fairtrade, reports
The study states that the recovery from the pandemic cannot be a return to business as usual. It must be an opportunity to push the advancement of a sustainable development agenda. A structural transformation of the transport sector will be needed if environmentally sustainable, green economies are to become a reality. This could, in turn, lead to the creation of millions of new jobs.
The study finds that 10 million additional jobs could be created worldwide, 2.9 million in the UNECE region, if 50 per cent of all vehicles manufactured were electric. In addition, almost 5 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 include 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 says 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 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.