The Green Jobs Advantage: How Climate Friendly Investments are Better Job Creators

An analysis of studies from around the world finds that green investments generally create more jobs per US$1 million than unsustainable investments.

This literature review compares the number of jobs created per $1 million in a variety of types of green infrastructure versus unsustainable infrastructure. Drawing on 12 studies that met the criteria, near-term job effects from clean energy versus fossil fuels, public transportation versus roads, electric vehicles versus internal combustion engine vehicles, and nature-based solutions versus fossil fuels were compared.

For each of these investment types, literature on job quality, focusing on wages and benefits, work security, opportunities for growth, work safety, opportunities for social dialogue, and inclusivity of marginalized communities was investigated. Much of the research to date has focused on high-income countries, especially the United States; while the research encountered this limitation, it also aimed to elevate studies and examples from developing and low-income countries.


The analysis of the literature finds that $1 million in green investments often creates more near-term jobs than an equivalent amount of unsustainable investments, and sometimes significantly more. The results vary by country and are preliminary given the limited literature. The studies in this analysis covered a range of countries for each clean energy investment type, but there were fewer studies for each investment type in sustainable transportation and nature-based solutions and they were predominantly U.S.-focused, limiting the generalizability of the findings. Despite the limitations, this initial analysis suggests that, from a job perspective, green investments should generally take precedence over unsustainable investments when there is a choice between the two.

Attached document published October 2021


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