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Image: Olha/Adobe Stock
Image: Olha/Adobe Stock

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EU decarbonisation commitments could bring extra 204,000 jobs

Eurofound projects that the EU’s commitments to achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990 levels by 2030 (‘Fit for 55’) will be marginally positive for employment in the EU, with a net creation of 204,000 jobs. This is in addition to the baseline employment growth of 6.7 million net new jobs between 2019 and 2030. However, the Agency also cautions that some industries and regions are set to be particularly negatively impacted.

One of the core strategic objectives of the EU is to ensure that Europe becomes the first climate-neutral continent, with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve this objective, EU policymakers adopted the Fit for 55 policy package in 2021, which contained intermediate decarbonisation objectives aimed at reaching a 55% emission reduction target by 2030 based on 1990 levels.

Eurofound’s recent report, Fit for 55 climate package: Impact on EU employment by 2030, provides projections from a global macroeconomic model of how this complex policy package may affect the sectoral and occupational structure of employment in the EU by 2030, and the impacts across different regions and countries.

The report notes that negative employment effects are more likely in some central and eastern EU countries, particularly Poland and Romania, and regions with relatively high shares of workers still working in extractive industries. Positive employment effects are projected in southern European countries, particularly Spain and Italy, and regions with natural endowments (wind and sun), developed energy efficiency infrastructure and capacity to manufacture renewable energy equipment.

With jobs in both energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy capacity development, the sector likely to benefit most in terms of employment is construction. There will also be increased employment in market services as relative prices favour a shift in the structure of the economy towards ‘cleaner’ sectors, reinforcing the employment shift to the services sector.

While employment overall is projected to improve towards 2030, the small boost to employment forecast for Fit for 55 tends to occur in medium-low and medium wage jobs that do not require tertiary qualifications.

Speaking on the publishing of the report, John Hurley, Eurofound Senior Research Manager, noted the need for a broad policy focus to reap the rewards of decarbonisation while protecting those that could lose out, ‘Policies aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions will have differential impacts on employment by sector and by occupation, increasing the demand for some jobs and decreasing it for others. They have to work hand in hand with education, training and employment policies in order to prepare workers with the required skills and competencies to contribute to the collective decarbonisation effort.’




James Higgins

James Higgins

Press contact Communication Officer +353-1-204-3100
Måns Mårtensson

Måns Mårtensson

Press contact Media & Promotion Manager Media relations, marketing and promotion +353-1-204 3124

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Eurofound, a tripartite European Union Agency, provides knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies

Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) is a tripartite EU body, whose mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies.

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