Meeting well-below 2°C target would increase energy sector jobs globally
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonOne Earth. 2021, 4 (7), 1026-1036. 10.1016/j.oneear.2021.06.005
To keep global warming well-below 2°C, fossil fuels need to dramatically decline and be replaced by low-carbon energy sources. While the technologies to replace fossil fuels are widely available, support for their expansion is often linked to the impact they have on fossil fuel jobs. Here, we analyze this question quantitatively by creating a novel dataset of job footprints in over 50 countries. These job intensities are applied to output from an integrated assessment model. We find that, by 2050, jobs in the energy sector would grow from today's 18 million to 21 million in the reference scenario and even more, to 26 million, under our well-below 2°C scenario. Overall, in 2050, under well-below 2°C scenario, of the total jobs, 84% would be renewable jobs, 11% fossil fuels, and 5% nuclear jobs. While fossil fuel extraction jobs rapidly decline, these losses are compensated by gains in solar and wind jobs, particularly in the solar and wind manufacturing sector.