Climate protection is driving force for employment

UBA study explores effect of energy efficiency measures in buildings, transport sector and businesses

Ambitious climate protection efforts result in more jobs: some 630,000 new jobs might be created in Germany-provided the federal government continues to pursue its goal of reducing national greenhouse gas emissions up until 2020 by some 40 percent over the 1990 index year. One important step towards this goal is measures to improve energy efficiency. Speedy and thorough implementation of climate protection measures in buildings alone will create nearly 100,000 new jobs in Germany by 2012.  That figure could even rise to over 350,000 by 2020. These are the results of a new study, Gesamtwirtschaftliche Wirkungen von Energieeffizienzmaßnahmen in den Bereichen Gebäude, Unternehmen und Verkehr [Macroeconomic impacts of energy efficiency measures in the housing, business and transport sectors], which was commissioned to the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Karlsruhe by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The findings show that measures to increase energy efficiency would benefit both the climate and employment as investments in energy efficiency and emissions reductions will bolster the position of Germany as a business location in the long term.

Improved energy efficiency through better heat insulation boosts the purchasing power of homeowners and tenants as their heating costs drop. Modernisation of heating systems in buildings also cuts the demand for gas and heating oil imports, which in turn will stimulate domestic demand and counteract Germany’s high level of dependency on energy imports. At the same time, the large-scale investments necessary to remediate building stock will open up new employment opportunities, mainly in the construction industry and in related services such as construction financing.  In sum, this will stimulate the economy and provide growth and employment.

Considerable improvements in efficiency in the transport and business sectors have additional positive impact on employment. Should the automotive industry move to invest in the development of more efficient cars, market opportunities to create nearly 220,000 jobs in Germany by 2020 would ensue. Continuous efforts by businesses to improve energy efficiency would lower their energy costs and provide the opportunity to create new jobs. In so doing, more than 260,000 additional jobs could result by 2020.

It is thus clear that climate protection is more than a moral obligation. Increasing energy efficiency creates long-term employment and growth and could help Germany to recover from the economic crisis.

German Environment Agency

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau