Paris, Nov 15 (EFE).- Global energy employment has surged to nearly 67 million from 60.6 million three years ago, driven by investments in clean technologies in the aftermath of sweeping layoffs due to the pandemic and energy crisis, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.
In its World Energy Employment report, the Paris-based agency highlighted that clean energy sectors added 4.7 million jobs globally over the same period, reaching 35 million.
In contrast, the fossil fuel industry, employing 32 million people worldwide, saw a slower recovery, with jobs remaining approximately 1.3 million below pre-pandemic levels.
“The unprecedented acceleration that we have seen in clean energy transitions is creating millions of new job opportunities all over the world, but these are not being filled quickly enough,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said.
“More than half of employment growth over this period was in just five sectors,” said the agency.
The sectors include solar PV, wind, electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries, heat pumps, and critical mineral mining.
“Of the five sectors, solar PV is by far the largest employer, accounting for 4 million jobs, while EVs and batteries were the fastest growing, adding well over 1 million jobs since 2019,” the IEA report said.
The agency noted that the “uptick of clean energy jobs” occurred worldwide.
But China, home to almost 30 percent of the global energy workforce, underwent a significant shift, with clean energy jobs growing by 2 million and fossil fuel-related jobs declining by 600,000, primarily in coal, according to the IEA report.
The IEA estimated a boom in clean energy jobs, predicting that 30 million opportunities will be created by 2030 while close to 13 million jobs in fossil fuel-related industries remain at risk.
“This means that around two clean energy jobs would be created for every fossil fuel-related job lost.”
Governments and industry need “to keep pace with growing demand, particularly to manufacture and build the clean energy projects necessary to meet our energy and climate goals,” Birol said.
Over 160 companies surveyed for the report cited “skilled labor shortages as a key barrier to ramping up activity.”
Medium-skilled roles in clean energy jobs require specialization beyond generic occupations common in the energy industry, according to the IEA.
“Targeting workers currently in related occupations can reduce the skilling burden,” the report recommended.