A recent report from the New Climate Institute finds that one million “green” jobs could be created in China, the United States, and the European Union by 2030 if these nations comply with their current pledges to reduce global warming. While the U.S. and Europe have functioning environmental regulation schemes, China’s environmental regulations are often unenforced. Given China’s struggle with basic environmental protection, can the nation really be on its way to creating thousands of “green” jobs?
The answer is yes, and in some ways China is ahead of the U.S. and Europe in this respect. China had 1.7 million people employed in the renewable energy sector in 2012, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Many of these jobs are in the production of solar panels and wind turbines. Promotion of the “green” energy sector has been spurred in large part by the Renewable Energy Law of 2005, which requires the state to give priority to the utilization of renewable energy throughout China. This means that power companies are required to purchase energy from the renewable sector.