4. The Effect of Environmental Protection Measures on Employment
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Environmental protection has already led to decisive changes in our work environment.
Almost all occupational fields have had to deal with environmental protection to some extent.
Environmental considerations play a significant role in our training and in our professional lives, whether we are car mechanics or chimney sweeps, gas station attendants or engineers.
There is a growing demand on the labor market for knowledge and training in the area of environmental protection.
Furthermore, there are newly-developed, specialized occupations that are directly geared toward environmental protection, for example, in the field of environmental services such as contracting.
There is enormous growth potential precisely in the area of ecological services, and it is the big winner as regards employment policy.
The number of people working in the field of environmental protection is growing steadily.
The aforementioned figure of one million workers in the field of environmental protection represents 2.7 percent of Germany’s gainfully employed population. Similar trends have also been observed in other countries.
The OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] determined, for example, that in 1992 approximately four million people in the United States worked either directly or indirectly in the field of environmental protection. That amounts to about 3 percent of the working population.
It is estimated that in 2005 5.3 million people will be employed in this field [in the United States].
This means that the United States expects an increase of 1.4 million workers in the environmental field.
Prognoses about the most important future technologies also put ecological construction, energy efficiency, and ecological product development at the head of the field.
Of course, such prognoses are associated with some uncertainty.
Two very critical driving forces determine the speed of developing labor-force needs:
– the development of national environmental legislation and
– the environmental consciousness of the companies
It is clear that it is important to consider all existing conditions, in order to achieve the necessary results in the field of environmental protection and on the labor market.
We are presently faced with the task of finding the optimal connection between ambitious demands for environmental protection and creative implementation strategies and instruments. This task can only be accomplished through cooperation.
That is the ideal way to improve environmental conditions, create jobs, and secure Germany’s status as location for business and industry.
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