The “green transition” should boost economic growth – EIB

Just over half of Irish people believe the transition to a more environmentally sustainable economy will create jobs and drive economic growth, a new survey has found.

The European Investment Bank’s 2021-2022 Climate Survey found that 53% of Irish believe the ‘green transition’ will lead to economic growth, while 59% believe climate change policies will create more jobs than they will eliminate.

However, there are also concerns about the impact that climate change policies could have on employment in the future.

Young Irish people fear their current jobs will be affected by climate change, with nearly a third of 20-29 year olds fearing their role will be incompatible with tackling climate change in the future. This is 11 points above the national average of 20%.

Just over a fifth expect to have to move to another region or country in the future due to climate change, with this figure rising to 39% among those aged 20-29. AThe European average was 29%, with a higher figure in countries such as Spain and France.

And while 63% of Irish respondents to the survey expect to see an improvement in quality of life as a result of the switch to more sustainable policies, even more (72%) believe their purchasing power would decline.

Climate emergency

Only a third think the climate emergency will be under control by the middle of the century, with 64% expecting it to still be a serious problem by then.

Two-thirds expect people to work more from home to help fight climate change, while 35% expect more people to adopt a plant-based diet. Almost half expect the introduction of an energy quota for private individuals.

“Irish people see clear opportunities in the green transition for their quality of life as well as for the labor market in general. However, they are also concerned, especially the younger generation, about the long-term impact of climate change on where they live and on the sustainability of their jobs,” said EIB Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen.

“As the EU climate bank, it is our responsibility to listen to these concerns and work with policy makers and industry partners to address them. By doing so, we can help fuel the transition to a greener, more prosperous future that leaves no one behind.

The survey is the fourth edition of the bank’s climate survey, which assesses how people feel about climate change. The study, which was conducted in partnership with market research firm BVA, surveyed more than 30,000 respondents between August 26 and September 22 last year.

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