The last born of the climate jobs campaign family is known, and its name is Un million d’emplois pour le climat (One million Jobs for climate).

The French Un million d’emplois pour le climat was launched on the 12th January 2017 by a consortium made up of trade-unions, social organizations and environmental movements, as an attempt to introduce the ecological transition in the public debate, and to present alternatives in facing the ecological transition and the social transition in a synergetic way. The campaign produced a report to that effect entitled Un million d’emplois pour le climat. That report was jointly prepared and published by Alofa Tuvalu, Alternatiba, Friends of the Earth, Attac France, Heinrich Böll Stiftung France, Collectif Roosevelt, Confédération Paysanne, Emmaüs, Fédération Syndicale Unitaire (FSU), Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, Mouvement National des Chômeurs et Précaires (MNCP), Réseau Action Climat, Union Syndicale Solidaires.

The aim of the campaign is to call for the creation of One million climate jobs by 2020 in France, following the below modalities:
1- Create 250,000 supported jobs labelled “ecological transition” jobs
2- Create 100,000 “ecological transition” jobs in the public services
3- Invest in ecological transition private sectors to create 650,000 jobs
4- Address the antagonism between climate protection and jobs loss in fragile sectors. This should be done through a conversion, which must be anticipated and territorialized and through an adapted training and skill development
5- Ensure the quality and social protection of just ecological transition jobs
6- Launch structural changes to adapt jobs to the ecological transition framework
7- Condition support for the private sector to the creation of quality jobs, particularly in ecological transition sector.

Such energy transition will see the disappearance or the drastic reduction of jobs in sectors such as:

  • The non-renewable energies, the gas and electricity network
  • EPR and extension of nuclear power plants
  • Fossil fuel products
  • New buildings
  • Road infrastructures
  • Air transportation
  • Road freight
  • Traditional agriculture

Nevertheless, despite the disappearance or reduction of jobs in the above sectors, there are potential for the creation of thousands of job positions is several other sectors as follow:

  • In the building and renovation sector, 350 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 21.9 Billion euros, and 23000 jobs will be lost
  • In the renewable energy sector, 330 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 26.4 Billion euros, and 76000 will be lost
  • In the Social assistance sector, 230 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 8.2 Billion euros, and 25000 will be lost
  • In the Domestic repairs and recycling sector, 130 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 13.4 Billion euros, and 124 000 will be lost
  • In the industrial manufacturing of transition compatible goods, 110 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 15.7 Billion euros, and 25000 jobs will be lost
  • In the Public Administration (Teaching and Territorial administration), 100 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 6.3 Billion euros, and 27000 jobs will be lost
  • The activities of associative organizations will generate 80 000 jobs with an investment of 3.5 Billion euros, and 85 000 jobs will be lost
  • For the Peasants led biological agriculture, 50 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 4.3 Billion euros, and 31 000 jobs will be lost
  • In the rail and public transportation sector, 20 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 1.4 Billion euros, and 30 000 jobs will be lost
  • In the research and development (scientific) sector, 20 000 extra jobs will be created with an investment of 1.8 Billion euros
  • In the creative, artistic and performing arts, libraries, archives and other cultural sectors, additional 20 000 jobs will be created with an investment of 1.2 Billion euros
  • For railway materials 6000 additional jobs will be created with an investment of 0.5 Billion euros

At the end of the day, a total of 1 446 000 climate jobs will be created, and 446 000 current jobs will disappear, for a net figure of 1 000 000 climate jobs created by 2020 in France. This will cost approximately 104.7 Billion to the French economy.

According to the report, there are several sources from which money can be gathered. Mostly we can mention:

  • Evasion and tax dodging, can generate between 30 to 160 billion euros a year
  • Tax niches in favor of fossil fuels, can generate between at least 10 billion euros a year
  • Widening of the exchange tax to fully include the tax on financial transactions can help gather between supplementary fund ranging from 2 to 5 billion euros a yeareolicas
  • The reorientation of environmentally harmful investments can generate important funds that are difficult to globally evaluate
  • Democratization of quantitative easing* labelled “ecological transition”, liable to generate 60 billion euros per year
  • The Costs of job loss, generating 36 billion euros a years
  • The French carbon tax revenue could generate 5.9 billion euros in 2017 and 7.8 in 2018 etc.

That is why, the report concludes by stating that problem is not the lack of funding, as there are multiple potential sources. The problem at the moment is the total lack of political willingness to engage on the path to ecological transition. That is why, beside the bill on ecological transition and green growth passed in 2015, it is now important to carry the issue to the public space and include it in public debates in order to forge a real ecological transition conscience and force the leaders to engage in that path, starting from the local levels. The campaign plan is to involve in popular education and influence the public debates, mostly during this 2017 electoral year.

* The Quantitative easing is a monetary policy in which Central banks increase the availability of money by putting more capital at the disposal of financial institutions. By so doing they participate in decreasing the interest rate and encourage more lending and liquidity flow. In this line, the French campaign is proposing that the central bank should provide more money (in this case 60 billion Euros per year) to financial institutions to ease lending and increase liquidities, but in this case specifically for the purpose of Ecological transition. As such lending the money, either by States, companies/corporations or even individuals will be condition to the investment in ecological transition projects and activities.

Summary written by Chrislain Eric Kenfack
PhD Programme “Democracy in the XXI Century”
Centro de Estudos Sociais (CES) | Centre for Social Studies
Faculty of Economics(FEUC)
University of Coimbra

Originally Published on January 26, 2017

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