The labor market in Europe will be one of the areas of the world most benefited by the implementation of the Paris Agreement against climate change. Betting on renewable energies and investing to contain CO emissionstwo Employment will increase by 20% in 2030 more than expected in the European Union. Of this improvement, Belgium, Spain and Germany are more favored than the rest. The potential of the photovoltaic and the impact in the construction would translate in Spain in 200,000 more employments for that year, an additional 0.9%, according to Eurofound.
Europe is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in 2030 on which it issued 40 years earlier. By 2050, the European strategy will completely decarbonise its economy. It is the way that Europe, which until now has led the climate struggle, has put on the table to comply with the Paris Agreement, whose objective is that the increase in average temperature at the end of the century does not exceed two degrees compared to the level preindustrial. That goal of the two degrees is what scientists have established so that the warming, already irreversible, stays within manageable limits.
Meeting Paris means that all EU countries must take action soon and that will have an impact on the economy and employment. To find out the latter, the European tripartite agency Eurofound, made up of the EU, the unions and the continental bosses, has prepared a report – which is published on Tuesday – in which it calculates that the promotion of renewable energies, the substitution of fossil fuels and all the indirect effects that are generated will add about 2.4 million jobs to the EU in 2030. The basis of the Eurofound calculation is the 243.24 million jobs for that year foreseen by this agency and Cedefop, the one devoted to education and vocational training policies in the EU in a report last December.
Of those 2.4 million additional jobs due to the Paris Agreement, some 214,000 correspond to Spain, since the improvement over this baseline scenario is 0.9%. Only Belgium exceeds the expected evolution for Spain and, after it, Germany.
The greatest benefits for the Spanish labor market are due to the development potential of photovoltaic energy, says Donald Storrie, Eurofound's chief researcher. The study also points to the fall in electricity prices expected by the development of this energy source. "This will boost consumption, since it will increase the money in the pockets of households," adds Storrie.
Spain has lived since the beginning of the century boom of wind energy – which now accounts for almost half of the renewable electricity generated in the country. At the end of the last decade, a similar growth began in photovoltaics. However, a bad design of the premium policies, caused an important break. Now, although wind growth is also expected in the next decade, everyone looks at photovoltaics due, in part, to the huge drop in production costs of this technology and the future development of self-consumption.
The countries that will benefit the least from the pull of employment due to this adaptation to the demands of Paris are those that depend least on the import of oil or those that already have the duties done. In the latter case, Denmark is located, "which has already advanced in the consumption of renewable energy and energy efficiency, so the investments required to get closer to the objectives of reducing carbon dioxide emissions are small."
On the side of the losers will be, according to the report, only Poland, very dependent on coal, the fossil fuel to which all analysts point as the first loser in the fight against climate change. A study last year of the Joint Research Center (JRC) – a scientific body that advises the European Commission – recalled that almost half of the workers in the coal sector in Europe are in Poland, which means more than 110,000 jobs.
"In the mining sector, a substantial loss of employment is expected," says the Eurofound report, in line with that JRC forecast. It also provides for a reduction in jobs in the energy sector, "for the savings that will produce greater efficiency by lowering the demand for gas." On the contrary, in the construction sector it expects an expansion due to the investment necessary to achieve buildings in which lower energy consumption is needed and "for the construction of renewable energy plants".