Towards a green economy 3.2 Creating jobs
Transport is fundamental to the functioning of economies and it is also a key sector in its own right in terms of generating employment, from manufacturing vehicles to refining fuels, managing transport services and developing and maintaining infrastructure.13
Under a green economy, transport-sector jobs would increasingly be those that are generated through investment in green transport infrastructure and vehicles, alternative fuels and telecommunication and other technologies (see section 2.2).
Empirical studies are scarce, but several studies suggest a strong link between green jobs and the transport sector. Based on US figures, the Economic Development Research Group (2009) and the Surface Transportation Policy Project (2004) suggest that US$ 1 billion spent on public transport generates around 36,000 jobs (averaging between operations and capital projects14
), which is 9
per cent and 19 per cent higher than the job-creation potential of road maintenance or new road projects
13. Furthermore, by providing the physical link between jobs and workers, transport contributes to employment.
14. The methodology employed by the Economic Development Research Group includes direct effects (public transportation manufacturing / construction and operations jobs), indirect effects (jobs at suppliers of parts and services) and induced jobs (jobs supported by workers re-spending their wages). See http://www.apta.com/gap/policyresearch/Documents/ jobs_impact.pdf
respectively, with the same amount of resources spent. Chmelynski (2008) suggests that in the US, each US$ million block of consumer spending that is shifted from vehicle fuels to public transport generates 18.5 jobs.15
Furthermore, a study by Weisbrod and Reno (2009) of 13 public transport investments in Europe suggests that a unit of investment in public transport would yield between 2 and 2.5 times this value to the regional economy.
UNEP (2008a) estimates that roughly 250,000 jobs in the car industry are targeted at relatively green cars and their components.16
3.3 Supporting equity and poverty reduction
Current transport systems, built primarily for private motor vehicles are, by nature, inequitable and impede efforts to reduce poverty by continuing the mobility
15. Local employment potential depends heavily on the local context, for example, how much of the good/service is provided domestically (versus imported). The figures are meant to be indicative.
16. Such figures depend heavily on the definition of green jobs, as well as the assumptions regarding the penetration rate of green vehicles. Further work is required to estimate a more accurate set of figures.
Expense category Auto fuel
Other vehicle expenses
Box 4: Re-examining the employment generating effects of aviation
It is often claimed that aviation is vital for the economy, because it generates jobs both directly and indirectly; the latter through the facilitation of tourism and business (OEF 2006). This is often given as a key reason to exempt aviation from fuel taxes and other levies, which not only distorts competition between modes, but leaves aviation externalities unchecked. Sewill et al. (2005) argue that the economic case for investing in aviation is often overstated, if not weak, owing to the large amounts of externalities the sector produces. He suggests that alternative forms of employment can be generated through taxing high-polluting industries such as aviation, and using the revenue to promote other sectors. As an example, the EU in its Emissions Trading Scheme should consider the use of revenue from aviation credits (EC 2011) for climate mitigation actions in developing countries, which could also create new forms of green jobs.
Value added 2006 dollars
Household bundles Including auto expenses 1,278,440
Redistributed auto expenses
expenditures Source: Chmelynski (2008)
Box 5: Green transport as a business
There are many revenue-generating oppor- tunities
for the private sector to support
or complement sustainable transportation systems and operations. These may take the form of public-private partnerships, concession contracts between a public agency and private entity, or a for-profit business providing a service or product directly to users. Table 4 lists such businesses in the context of the Avoid, Shift and Improve strategy for sustainable transport.
17.0 17.3 31.3
Compensation 2006 dollars
1,591,993 Table 3: Economic impacts per US$ 1 million