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Heightened efforts towards energy transition are projected to create 40 million jobs in the energy sector by 2050, with 18 million in renewables globally, per the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) latest report, a volume 2 of the World Energy Transitions Outlook.
It gives insight into how the 1.5 degrees Celsius plan can impact economic activity, employment, and human welfare and how governments can form policies that maximize the benefits of the energy transition.
IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera says that while he echoes the COP28 Presidency’s call for a global renewable energy target, policymakers have also focused too much on the technological features of energy transition and overlooked the socioeconomic implications.
Progressive policies would be required to boost socioeconomic benefits from the pivot to clean energy.
“The energy transition holds great promise for boosting the global economy, but we must address persistent inequality. Bridging gaps in climate policy ambition and fostering essential structural changes places unprecedented demands on policymakers,” he added.
Despite the fact that the renewable sector employment is expected to triple by 2050, jobs are unevenly distributed across regions, noted IRENA, with Asia expected to hold 55% of global renewable jobs by 2050, followed by Europe at 14%, the Americas at 13%, while as little as 9% of the jobs coming from Sub-Saharan Africa.
Renewable energy is expected to make up nearly half of the global electricity mix by 2030 under current policies, but “stronger” measures would be required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, the agency said in its World Energy Outlook last month.