green-jobsNew figures show that unemployment in the eurozone has reached a record high. We asked last week what was the best way to create more jobs in Europe, and today’s news that the unemployment rate in the eurozone is now an eye-watering 12.2% reminds us that getting people into jobs is one of the most urgent challenges facing policy-makers at the moment.

Some of you, though, have suggested that it shouldn’t just be about promoting growth at all costs. Rather, the focus should be on developing a more sustainable model of economic growth. One such suggestion, for example, was sent in by Panagiotis from Greece, who thought it was possible to combine economic growth with green investment:

citizen_icon_180x180The best way to create jobs in Europe is to reduce taxes for green technologies and innovative business, and promote education more. We cannot compete with labour costs in the Asian markets so we have to invest in technology even more!

When we spoke to Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for the Environment, we put some of your questions to him on the topic of promoting so-called “green jobs” (i.e. jobs in the environmental and renewable energy sectors). We started by asking Commissioner Potočnik what sort of skills young people should focus on if they wanted to work in these jobs.

One of our commenters, for example, suggested that students should be taking a multidisciplinary approach if they wanted to work in this sector, arguing that young people needed to “bring together expertise from the fields of politics, economics, science, and culture” to promote the entry of renewable energy. Would Commissioner Potočnik agree?

potocnik-speaksYes, I would agree. The problem we face is complex, and I think it’s true that the broader your range of knowledge the better. Regardless, this is already the case in many other sectors of the economy. I think that the increasing complexity of life means that individuals and teams need to be able to draw on a wider range of expertise to meet new challenges.

We also had a question from Susie, who thought that words on “green jobs” were not being sufficiently backed up with actions.

citizen_icon_180x180I feel that a lot more support – political and public – is needed to make green jobs stand out and make them attractive for young people. [The] young generation possess an enormous academic knowledge which is often not appreciated and people work in completely unrelated jobs.

She argues that governments should offer more graduate schemes and training specifically in these kind of jobs. How would Potočnik respond?

potocnik-speaksYes, it’s perfectly true that we are lacking some of the necessary skills and the knowledge in this field. But the transition to a sustainable growth model is simply unavoidable, so I agree that we will have to do more on skills and employment to have a successful transition.

Finally, we recorded a video question from Jonas, who asked simply:

What can EU policy-makers do in order to help young people to find a job in the green economy? Often, that is only possible if they have a lot of experience already, so it makes it hard to find entry-level jobs, and instead, often, they turn to the old industry.

We put this question to María Victoria Palau Tarrega, an Alternate Member of the EU’s Committee of the Regions who has worked on promoting green jobs in the region of Valencia, Spain.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Philippe Put



52 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think? Would reducing taxes for green technologies help create more jobs in Europe and green the economy? Should governments offer more graduate schemes and training opportunities to attract young people into 'green jobs'? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

  1. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Should’t Europe first create these green jobs so young people can find them? Invest create and make them appealing.. Reform our education system so it teaches our youths about them…

    • avatar
      Bruno

      “Invest create and make them appealing.” That would cost a lot of money.

      Why not just give an UNCONDITIONAL BASIC INCOME (UBI) to everyone so each individual can develop themselves and create their own job. We are too dependent on big business to create jobs for us. Lets change that and give a chance to small business to flourish.

      Many Nobel prize winners spoke about this economic alternative. UBI aims at minimizing the economic disparity and simultaneous eradicating poverty. We need some change because in our current economic system the rich are getting richer and most of us are getting poorer.

      I agree with you that our education system needs reform.

  2. avatar
    Gianluca Patrignani

    UE should legislate GreenEnergy fileld in order to create a true competitive market, not a monopoly.
    It’s a national governments task to reform education!

  3. avatar
    Szymon Nowicki

    I’d like Europe to help me find any decent job, green, yellow, pink or red – doesn’t matter.

  4. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    Give an INCONDITIONAL BASIC IINCOME for all, problems go away Naturaly and economy grows. But you don’t really want that :(

    • avatar
      Paul X

      It’s not that people don’t want it , it’s just most people with a basic grasp of economics realise UBI is a pipe dream touted by ideological fantasists

      Someone would have to pay for it and however it’s dressed up it would eventually fall onto taxpayers and consumers

    • avatar
      Marcel

      You pay for it, then. Feel free to surrender 70% of YOUR income.

      Oh wait, I think I spotted the flaw in my plan.

    • avatar
      Bruno

      Winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics who fully support a basic income include Herbert A. Simon, Friedrich Hayek, James Meade, Milton Friedman and Robert Solow.

      The cost of Unconditional Basic Income is not necessarily more expensive than our current Social Security. In the long run it is more economical because it eliminates all the bureaucratic costs associated with social support. It also eliminates the costs derived from poverty, because it is the biggest cause of people going to prisons, mental illness, school failure and family problems. For these reasons Richard Nixon wanted the U.S. to implement a measure similar to the UBI.

  5. avatar
    Pavlos Vasileiadis

    With galloping poverty and unemployment throughout Europe, it is a luxury to start speaking of “coloured” jobs….

  6. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    A Europa deve criar um sistema educativo sustentável é esse compromisso que a Europa têm com os jovens porque irá construir o futuro dos jovem de hoje para que no futuro possam ser trabalhadores reprodutivos dentro da Europa Segundo criar uma estratégica de inovação e de sustentabilidade

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Eusebio Manuel Vestias Pecurto
      What is a sustainable education system?

      We have people in the UK with 3 degrees cleaning toilets! Europe is educating too many people in trivial subjects – Europe AND business must place far more emphasis on the STEM subjects

  7. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    Green jobs are ok but who decides what types of green jobs will be created and where?

    Also, what about the recent advance in nuclear fusion at America’s National Ignition Facility last month? This has the potential to create millions of clean, green and safe jobs. Perhaps more money could be directed at advancing said technology further and quickly?

  8. avatar
    Florin Petric

    Yes, EU must do much more for green jobs by that meaning to do more for green energy.

  9. avatar
    Tony Westfallen

    Jobs only arise through a demand for products and services. To stimulate demand, you need to remove austerity measures, cut VAT, and cancel Green Tax! But economic honesty is not a strong point in Brussels!

    • avatar
      miguel abreu

      Thank you Tony West fallen, Sir. It is simply an attempt to compose a no so simple body of knowledge and hopefully present it to our world leaders . Yes, I agree I am in the Real Estate Industry in the State of Florida a lot is being done All kinds products and and material to meet the State codes to preserve energy as well as trees etc. I invite all young mind to take a few minutes and express themselves in this topic that affects as all. For example if I have and idea For it to make it to the Legislators Senate and Congress to be approved takes about (don’t hold me on this). 545 votes by the time They decide the Artic has melted and Florida would be under water. Remember I live here. The earth is heating up the sun is burning trees are taking the beating Penguins an Seal will not have a place to go. Speak out we need to hear from you.

  10. avatar
    Chris Violaris

    The best thing Europe can do, is to leave Europeans alone, to find their way by themselves! The E.U has failed in every imaginable way and field! Is just a cancerous, useless banch of idiots, who present and put obstacles to normal people to develop and to country members to put their houses in order! Close it down the bloody thing! Is USELESS!

  11. avatar
    catherine benning

    What do you mean by ‘green’ jobs? When you are starving, as many Europeans are today, any job is a green job.

    So, the emphasis has to be on making the creation of jobs in general easier and to organise a return to a period of full employment. Whether they are green is nauseating nonsense. As long as they are not black jobs, that is the important factor. (And to ward off the maniacal crowd of racist seekers. Black as in black market, nothing to do with skin colour)

  12. avatar
    Paul X

    “young people needed to “bring together expertise from the fields of politics, economics, science, and culture” to promote the entry of renewable energy”

    One out of four is not bad I suppose science (more specifically engineering) is what is needed for green jobs, R&D is the only place the technology for green energy is going to come from

    Politics, economics and culture? only useful for people who want sit around and discuss how green things should be

  13. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    EU is already giving “green” jobs: turned compulsory the reducing of CO2 for European companies but then imports everything from China without worrying about CO2. Turns compulsory wider cages for hens, but then imports eggs from Morocco without worrying about the size of cages. What EU does, is creating a difficult environment for European companies and turning them less competitive with third countries therefore, creating more unemployment for Europeans. It would be OK all that story of green environment if the imported goods also had to respect the same rules.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @Vicente Silva Tavares:

      You have hit the nail on the head. Good thinking. The EU is anti the advancement of the European population in their overt concern for those selling to us from outside our borders.

      Time to rid ourselves of all those who work against us rather than for us. What they are doing is bringing third world standards of living here for us to wallow in, whilst they improve the lives of those who are not their constituents.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      You could also think of ‘African countries cannot impose tariffs on French/German/etc… products but France/Germany/etc… can impose them on products from African countries’. The hypocrisy in the Eurosoviet is truly astounding.

  14. avatar
    miguel abreu

    I believe that we should not abandon our efforts to preserve our Eco system A great number of jobs would be at hand for the younger generation this is a debt to mother Earth. A Monarchy system would handle desicions better for this particular nomination. No dispute involved.

  15. avatar
    cp

    The “green jobs”‘ are already taken by the “european funds maffia”
    the big companies that have an incubator of specialists ready. I suggest funding multipurpose projects to groups of students , graduates, volunteers, that would improve their own life, their community, the financial situation of everyone involved.
    Ex: a social project of integrating a minority in existing society , combined with building an sustainable, bio/eco-friendly green living complex able to produce itself from various mediums : energy, food, water, etc.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      This can be classified under ‘gigantic waste of money’.

  16. avatar
    janaka

    I havn’t job n find a job in europe.I’m very poor.any one plz hlp find a job for free.thank u.

  17. avatar
    Andreia Saavedra Cardoso

    Andreia Ruival Saavedra I think EU should give its citizens an Unconditional Basic Income so that we can create our green jobs. Sign Initiative for a Basic Income in Europe. An Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) or Citizen’s Income is a guaranteed income, given to all in addition to any other income they might receive. By advancing equality and economic participation while enabling simpler welfare systems, UBI leads to a fairer and more efficient society.
    Several european green parties have supported it, such as the Polish Green Party (Zieloni), the Dutch Green Party (De Groenen), the Spanish ecopolitical and social movement (EQUO), the German Green party (Die Grünen), The Irish Green Party (Comhaontas Glas) and many others. In the sense given by Christian Arnsperger a Basic Income is a proposal of public policy that can provide social experimenters the monetary support to engage alternative ways of life, compatible with the current ecological crisis and show others the path to transition. Sign in order to ask the Commission, to encourage cooperation between the Member States (according to Art 156 TFEU) aiming to explore the Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) as a tool to improve their respective social security systems.

    More information here: http://basicincome2013.eu/

  18. avatar
    Andreia Saavedra Cardoso

    I think EU should give its citizens an Unconditional Basic Income so that we can create our green jobs. Sign Initiative for a Basic Income in Europe. An Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) or Citizen’s Income is a guaranteed income, given to all in addition to any other income they might receive. By advancing equality and economic participation while enabling simpler welfare systems, UBI leads to a fairer and more efficient society.
    Several european green parties have supported it, such as the Polish Green Party (Zieloni), the Dutch Green Party (De Groenen), the Spanish ecopolitical and social movement (EQUO), the German Green party (Die Grünen), The Irish Green Party (Comhaontas Glas) and many others. In the sense given by Christian Arnsperger a Basic Income is a proposal of public policy that can provide social experimenters the monetary support to engage alternative ways of life, compatible with the current ecological crisis and show others the path to transition. Sign in order to ask the Commission, to encourage cooperation between the Member States (according to Art 156 TFEU) aiming to explore the Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) as a tool to improve their respective social security systems.

    More information here: http://basicincome2013.eu/

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Have a look at the FAQ’s and there is one question not listed……”where is the money coming from”

      That is where it falls down, how can everyone be better off? UBI goes to the rich and poor alike, tax the rich then give it back to them but who is going to pay the poor?

      …and the supposed savings from a simpler welfare system is never going to cover the cost of giving UBI to every man woman and child in Europe is it?

      Don’t get me wrong, reading all the UBI propaganda I’m all for it, if me , my wife and our children can all get 60% of the mean EU wage, between us our household will be much better off and I won’t need to work

  19. avatar
    Raluca Ana Maria

    In order to achieve the goal of having green jobs for young people is necessary to reform the educational system with focus on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Also make us aware of the rights and responsabilities we have in society and teach us how to contribute for a better future.

  20. avatar
    Michiel Van de Peppel

    EU should focus on a healthy currency and a well regulated, transparent banking system. Then jobs will come automatically. And EU should stop adding poor states to the EU, states that increase monetary problems and income inequality within EU-borders.

  21. avatar
    Marie Strati

    By promoting green jobs through several career and information events. Sometimes having the prober information could be the key to success

  22. avatar
    Fırat Güllü

    WHY ARE YOU ASKING THESE QUESTIONSDebating Europe?? EVEN ONE SIMPLE ANSWER WAS NOT GIVEN BY YOUR SIDE ? FOR WHAT ARE YOU ASKING THEM?? TO SHOW PEOPLE THAT YOU ARE DOING STH FOR THEM?? PUTTING HASTAGS OR ASKING QUESTIONS NOT A SOLUTION WHEN THERE IS NO ACTION!!! I’AM FOLLOWING YOUR PAGE EVERYDAY I REALLY DIDNT SEE THAT YOU ARE DOING STH FOR PEOPLE EXCEPT POSTING ON FACEBOOK ITS JUST HOODWINK!!

  23. avatar
    Sylvain Baron

    Green washing ils ont green economy. Gros down ils green economy. Changes taux ans commercial tax ils good for economy. “Frre trade” with china, east Europa ans fucking USA ils black economy

  24. avatar
    Matteo Plevano

    We are a small italian association, founded by young people, and we are doing something concrete to facilitate and develop green jobs. First of all we are managing Greenjobs.it, the most important italian website that present green jobs offers, with more than 300 company registered and 500.000 page views, since 2009. Than, in february we will start the first ‘Green Jobs help desk’, a place to give informations and orientation about occupational opportunities in green economy, in Milan.
    More information on http://www.greeninpeople.com, http://www.greenjobs.it

  25. avatar
    Pekka Nyman

    I think one way to take care about environment and sustainable way of energy propuction and at the same time taking good care of water enivorment, is take care that all memebers equally implements Water politics directive as it is said that all waters wloud be in good shape until 2015. Be sure that all waterways are in good shape when salmons, whitefish, graylings and all kind of fish and wateranimlas as European Beaver and Otter may run upstream and downsrteam as eels and juveline salmonidae. Ecological minimun stream is bigger (over 100m3/s) rivers 20% and smaller (under 100m3 rivers) river 10% about rivef streamvelocity. That´s reasonable also for powercompanies which now use 100% and over about rives only for their power production use. Constuction work during buidin those fishways will offer job oppostunities for young people also but after that ancient nature has came back to big riversides it will make possibilities also with fisheries and nature holidays. It´s big problem in Finland where all most rarely populated areas are destroyed by killing origin species extinct and then destroying rivers by waterdams during last 60 years for now on.

  26. avatar
    Diptanu Chaudhuri

    we can fight climate change, pollution,poverty etc by introducing rooftop plantation all over the world.Roof top plantation should be in govt buildings ,buses,taxi and other vehicles having roof.This will help us to create a fresh, pollution free environment especially in cites all over the world.Laws can be implemented to make rooftop plantation mandatory for each and every building in cities.Birds,butterflies and various insects have become perish in cities.Rooftop plantation will bring back the beautiful birds,bees,butterflies etc which are no longer seen in polluted cities of the world.
    we can reverse the process of global warming by reforestation of deserts.This will help us to eradicate poverty ,pollution,global warming and climate change.This is very much essential for survival living beings in this planet.
    The afforestation of deserts had already been started in some parts of the world like Gobi desert in China ,desert in Israel etc.In India It can be started in Rajasthan. Desert greening is the process of man-made reclamation of deserts for ecological reasons (biodiversity), farming and forestry, but also for reclamation of natural water systems and other Life support systems.Plantation in deserts will result in equal distribution of rainfall all over the world and when the dry deserts will be turned into forest ,it will serve itself as the habitat of a large number of species.
    Reversing the process of global warming by reforestation of deserts will require a huge fund. The world bank , United Nations and the billionaires of the world can come together to reverse the climate change .

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