The employment benefits of a Green COVID-19 recovery

Commissioned by C40 Cities, the Employment Benefits of a Green COVID-19 Recovery report estimated the number of jobs a set of climate actions in the buildings, transport, energy and waste sectors could create within six cities around the globe, thereby assessing the potential jobs impact of a green Covid-19 recovery plan.

Specifically, we have researched and identified employment multipliers that are related to investment in each of the specified climate actions and, when combined with costs of investment, were able to estimate the total number of jobs created within a post Covid-19 green recovery scenario. We also qualitatively assessed the potential skills gaps and skills needs that might arise within a green recovery scenario, and the quality of newly created ‘green’ jobs.

Key Findings

  • Generally, the ’Green Recovery’ scenario is anticipated to create more jobs than the business-as-usual or ’High-carbon Recovery’ (where the same amount of investment is assumed).
  • A ’Green Recovery’ is likely to lead to significant falls in employment in low- and medium-skilled occupations in transport and its supplier industries, but is also likely to lead to net job gains in, e.g. the buildings, renewable energy generation, waste and urban nature-based solutions sectors.
  • Results indicate that a successful transition to decarbonisation will have considerable impacts on the modelled global cities’ labour markets.
  • Not only will workers in sectors directly affected by decarbonisation be in need of re-skilling, but also workers in all sectors and occupations, as investments in the energy sector are redirected and the use of green technologies increases.