Clean power employment worldwide reached 12 million in 2021, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The report – ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2021’ – was produced with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Solar and wind jobs continued leading global employment growth in the renewable energy sector, accounting for a total of 4 million and 1.25 million jobs, respectively.
China commanded a 39% share of renewable energy jobs worldwide in 2020, followed by Brazil, India, the US, and members of the EU.
IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera said: “Renewable energy’s ability to create jobs and meet climate goals is beyond doubt.
“With COP26 in front of us, governments must raise their ambition to reach net zero.
“The only path forward is to increase investments in a just and inclusive transition, reaping the full socioeconomic benefits along the way.”
ILO director-general Guy Ryder said: “The potential for renewable energy to generate decent work is a clear indication that we do not have to choose between environmental sustainability on the one hand and employment creation on the other. The two can go hand-in-hand.”
IRENA and ILO’s work finds that more jobs will be gained by the energy transition than lost.
An ILO global sustainability scenario to 2030 estimates that the 24-25 million new jobs will far surpass losses of between 6 and 7 million jobs.
IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook forecasts that the renewable energy sector could employ 43 million by 2050.