Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 could generate 20 million jobs: study

By honouring its Paris Agreement goals, Canada’s construction industry stands to gain significant demand in employment. 

The reduction of emissions has the potential to generate close to 20 million jobs, according to a recent study from the Columbia Institute.

According to the study, reaching net zero emissions by 2050 could unlock nearly 4 million in direct building-trade jobs in various areas while creating an additional 20 million indirect, induced and supply-chain jobs.

The study, Jobs for Tomorrow – Canada’s Building Trades and Net Zero Emissions, was commissioned by Canada’s Building Trades Unions and is the first study to predict the outcome to the construction industry if Canada honours its Paris Agreement goals.

The study predicts that, based on current construction employment figures in the green building sector, a 2050 net-zero scenario could create 1, 997, 640 direct non-residential building jobs.

Additionally, the building of district energy systems could amount to over 547, 000 in construction jobs, and moving to renewable energy sources could result in over 1, 177, 055 direct construction jobs.

Finally, the building-out of urban transit infrastructure valued at $150 billion between now and 2050 would create nearly 245, 000 direct construction jobs. 

“If Canada is serious about meeting our climate commitments, we need to move faster in areas like renewable energy, green building construction, building retrofits, and transportation infrastructure,” Columbia Institute’s executive director, Charley Beresford, said in a press release.

“Meeting our climate goals is good for the planet and good for the economy and job creation.”