Environment policies contribute to job creation and social inclusion in the EU. Studies show that environmental policy is not a job-killer but instead has neutral or even mildly positive impact on the number of people in work. This is especially the case with new policies that support the development and use of new environmental technologies, such as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Environmental Technologies Action Plan. There is also a clear link between social inclusion and the quality of the environment. Just now, it is often Europe’s poorest who suffer most from pollution, and so gain most from environmental improvements. Other links exist in areas such as health and safety at work, and quality of jobs. In short: environment policies can contribute to employment objectives and vice versa, in line with the concept of sustainable development. These potential win-win solutions need to be sought and promoted whenever possible.
In November 2005, the European Commission issued a report analysing the links between employment and environment policies:
The EU's Sustainable Development Strategy called for economic, social and environmental policies to complement and reinforce each other. Whilst this report looks at one of those linkages, the following reports look at the other two linkages:
This report also updates previous analysis including, most noticeably, the analysis in the following Communication:
Analysis on the wider links between the environment and employment
Most studies have in the past concentrated on employment in the eco-industries. However, a study completed in 2007 shows that there are strong links between the economy and the environment that go far beyond the narrow definition of eco-industries traditionally measured. For example, a good quality environment supports many sectors in the economy and this is not usually captured in the statistics. Broadly:
The study also includes analysis of the impact of environmental policies on jobs and employment (changes in energy efficiency, Structural Fund spending etc). It finds that environmental policies are unlikely to provide a drag on the economy, and may easily prove to be a source of new jobs and innovation, a driver of progress, whilst also helping increase the health of our economies and wellbeing of societies.
The study can be found here.