Green Job Self-Destruction

Green Job Self-Destruction

Letter to the Editor in The Independent on Sunday
April 12, 2009
Originally published in The Independent on Sunday

In your article “Hopes for climate treaty set back by G20’s
weasel words”, 5 April, you refer to a study by the University of
Massachusetts Amherst that purports to show that investment in
so-called “green jobs” will create four times as many jobs as
traditional investment. Unfortunately, a review of this study by the
Institute for Energy Research found that it ignored the effects of job
destruction caused by movement to new technologies.

Indeed,
a new study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid has found that
the net effects of Spain’s massive investment in “green technology” has
been the destruction of 2.2 existing jobs for every green job created.
Moreover, those jobs are transitory. The Spanish solar industry will
probably let go 40,000 employees this year. That’s hardly the
investment the world needs in this financial environment.

Iain Murray

Washington DC, USA