Co-benefits are the positive effects that an action to tackle climate change may have on other outcomes such as employment, transport or health. Highlighting co-benefits in policymaking is essential to delivering climate action faster.

A ‘green economy’ that is low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive not only reduces the effects of climate change but also has multiple benefits in job creation and improving our economy. 

Our top 5 climate actions and their job co-benefits are:

Renewable energy

This is an obvious one. Transitioning to renewable energy and away from fossil fuels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions which are responsible for climate change. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, it can also create more than 40 million jobs in the sector by 2050. Renewable energy growth has also been linked to increased productivity across the world due to more stable energy supply.

Insulating homes 

Illnesses such as coughs, colds and flus that are related to living in poorly insulated homes directly affect productivity (the output per hour per worker). Insulating our homes can improve health while increasing labour productivity. It will also reduce energy consumption and therefore reduce carbon emissions.  

Energy efficiency 

Improving the overall energy efficiency of buildings will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change. Analysis by the New Climate Institute and C40 showed that improving the energy efficiency of buildings worldwide could create 5.4 million jobs.

Protecting nature

Biodiversity refers to our thriving ecosystems and the range of wildlife that keeps them healthy. Without it, the processes that support all life on Earth would collapse, so protecting it is crucial. Nature-related jobs are an important source of employment in the green economy. According to the OECD, ecosystem restoration in the United States provides 126,000 jobs and generates $9.5 billion a year

Recovery from COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major economic and job crisis. The recovery plans that governments choose to put in place can be both green and inclusive. Transitioning to a green economy can aid the recovery from COVID-19 by providing job opportunities that are good for people, the planet and the economy. The UK government’s £160 million Build Back Greener investment scheme aims to create 2,000 new green construction jobs

Net Zero Navigator

The Net Zero Navigator for local governments links co-benefits to climate action. Highlighting co-benefits helps to build the business case for climate action and drives cross-departmental collaboration. Take a look here.