Green jobs in India

India is keen to attempt to work towards a low carbon emission pathway while simultaneously endeavouring to meet all the developmental challenges. The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) is taking forward the Prime Minister’s vision of a sustainable lifestyle and climate justice to protect the poor and vulnerable from adverse impacts of climate change. India’s INDC centres around its policies and programmes on promotion of clean energy, especially renewable energy, enhancement of energy efficiency, development of less carbon intensive and resilient urban centres, promotion of waste to wealth, safe, smart and sustainable green transportation network, abatement of pollution and India’s efforts to enhance carbon sink through creation of forest and tree cover. India, at COP 21 in Paris, declared a voluntary goal of reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33–35%, over 2005 levels by 2030. India has adopted several ambitious measures for clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency in various sectors of industries, achieving lower emission intensity in the automobile and transport sector, non-fossil based electricity generation and building sector based on energy conservation. Thrust on Renewable Energy, Promotion of Clean Energy, Enhancing Energy Efficiency, Developing Climate resilient Urban Centres and Sustainable Green Transport Network are some of the measures for achieving this goal.

The Indian INDC brings a huge responsibility on the country and equal opportunities before green business and poses skilled manpower requirement towards creation of a Green Economy. The Green Economy is no longer an aspirational phrase but a compelling way of sustainable living, driven by, widely accepted, citizens’ concerns over Environment, Climate Change, Water and Waste and having an articulated road map, in the form of INDC’s that form part of the Paris Agreement.

Green jobs are jobs that contribute to preserve or restore the environment, be they in traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency or services such as audit and rating of green activities.

If India achieves its target of 100 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar energy by 2022, as many as one million full time equivalent (FTE) jobs could be created

At the enterprise level, green jobs can produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment, for example green buildings or clean transportation. However, these green outputs (products and services) are not always based on green production processes and technologies. Therefore, green jobs can also be distinguished by their contribution to more environmentally friendly processes. For example, green jobs can reduce water consumption or improve recycling systems. Yet, green jobs defined through production processes do not necessarily produce environmental goods or services. Green jobs are central to sustainable development and respond to the global challenges of environmental protection, economic development and social inclusion. Greening of enterprises, workplace practices and the labour market as a whole can be achieved engaging governments, workers and employers as active agents of change. These efforts create employment opportunities, enhance resource efficiency and build low-carbon sustainable societies.

This article is a part of FICCI publication “Economy of Jobs” that was released during our 89th AGM in December 2016. It presents essays from India’s leading business leaders and eminent thought leaders who share views and suggestions on job creation. The articles cover varied issues: demographics, education, skill development, entrepreneurship, impact of technology, labour laws, and as well as specific issues across sectors.

More articles from this series can be viewed here at: Economy of Jobs

The Green Jobs scope covers the entire gamut of “Green Businesses”, viz. Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, Green Construction, Green Transportation, Carbon Sinks, Solid Waste Management, Water Management & E-Waste Management, and hence would have pan India impact. Green Businesses would encompass all forms of Renewable Electricity/ Fuels, Municipal/ Farm Waste & Urban/ Rural Water Management, Green Construction, Green Transport and Carbon Sinks.

Highlighting the job creation opportunities that a scaled-up clean energy market offers in India, analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) estimates that solar photovoltaic (PV) projects built in India between 2011 and 2014 created approximately 24,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs—solely from commissioned projects currently producing electricity. The wind sector has created about 45,000 FTE jobs so far, according to government estimates. Despite limited data, solar and wind renewable energy is estimated to have created nearly 70,000 FTE jobs in India so far. If India achieves its target of 100 gigawatts (GW) of installed solar energy by 2022, as many as one million FTE jobs could be created. Approximately 183,500 FTE jobs would be generated if India were to reach its target of installing 60 GW of wind energy capacity by 2022. Looking ahead, solar and wind companies in India can support the clean energy market by reporting their projects’ job creation numbers.

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