Many people will have heard about green jobs and a low carbon economy, but what does it actually mean for our economy? What do these kind of jobs look like?
Green jobs are jobs that are created from environmentally friendly manufacturing or services. These can be wide ranging from the manufacturing of equipment such as solar panels, energy efficient fuel cells or even low energy water heaters through to eco friendly cleaning services or recycling services. The key is a mixture of manufacturing for export and not simply a service culture that needs to be supported by an inefficient regional economy.
The low carbon economy
A low carbon economy is based on a sustainable approach that is all encompassing and considers the wider issues of energy consumption along with utilisation of sustainable resources, such as managed forestation. This can include a range of initiatives. As an example, the reduction of non-biodegradable plastics from packaging or the reduction of individual carbon footprints through travel (which can be achieved through car sharing schemes, bike riding or working from home) can work towards a low carbon economy. Increasingly, practical examples of new technologies and working practices demonstrate practical steps that can be taken today to achieve a low carbon economy.
Why strive for a low carbon economy?
A low carbon economy simply achieves a long term lower cost base, whether it’s from reducing energy bills or using consumables that can be replenished or even through the reduction of retrospective clean-up operations that are required in disposing of consumed products. This approach takes a long-term perspective of costs and requires a complete product lifecycle overview, from design, manufacturing, consumption through to disposal and recycling.
Birmingham city’s plans for a low carbon economy
The city of Birmingham has a long-term strategy for making Birmingham the UK’s leading city with a low carbon economy. As part of this initiative, it is planning an ambitious strategy that will see the creation of a green job scheme called, ‘The Green New Deal’. Combined with a number of wider city initiatives, the aim is to reduce the reliance of traditional energy sources and make the city a more sustainable economy. These initiatives will not only impact business, but will also see a radical transformation of job creation, travel, consumption and recycling.
The Green New Deal
The Green New Deal will offer an affordable method of adopting energy efficient and sustainable technology. This will look to reduce energy consumption through better building technology, retrofitting insulation into older housing stock, and increasing the ability for individuals to create energy through a range of measures (such as solar panels and heat exchange devices). The manufacturing, installation and services of this initiative will be achieved through the utilisation of local resources and will therefore reduce the impact on our carbon footprint. These integrated strategies will become more popular over the coming years as the western economies.
The challenges facing the global economy will force an increased interest in sustainability. This will offer great opportunities for organisations that can provide innovative products or services that provide solutions to this growing issue.