New Delhi: India could witness the creation of more than 3 million jobs if it adopts sustainable practices for a green economy, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO)-2018.
All sectors, except the mining industry, will experience an increase in employment, if environmentally sustainable means are adopted, according to the report.
Over 1.5 million jobs are expected to be created in the renewable sector, 4.6 lakh jobs in construction and 2.8 lakh in the services across the country.
However, the transition to a green economy would also involve a loss of 2.59 lakh jobs, stated the report, which pressed upon the need for policies to facilitate re-allocation of workers and support the displaced workers.
“The transition to a green economy in India will inevitably cause job losses in certain sectors as carbon and resource-intensive industries are scaled down, but these will be more than offset by new job opportunities," it stated.
Highlighting that environmental sustainability was critical from the perspective of jobs, it emphasised that at present 52% of the employed population in the country, including farming and fishing and forestry, relies directly on the sustainability of a healthy environment.
Environmental degradation will not only affect job opportunities, but will also affect the productivity, reducing the total number of working hours, the report highlighted.
Discussing how the projected temperature increase of 1.5°C by the end of the 21st century will make heat stress more common, the report says, that by 2030 the total hours of work lost will rise to 5.3%, a productivity loss equivalent to 30.8 million full-time jobs.
“Agricultural workers will be the worst affected, and will account for around 64% of hours lost due to heat stress in India in 2030, in view of the physical nature of their work, which it is undertaken outside, and the fact that a large number of workers are engaged in agriculture in the areas most affected by future heat stress," it elaborated.
Highlighting the need to mitigate environmental degradation in the wake of climate change, the report pointed out that though India its increasing its share of renewable energy sources, it continues to rely on coal, oil and natural gas.