What if the « green economy » was just a joke? It has become trendy to label every activity as green. Thus environmentalism seems to be at the heart of the economy. Lucas Léger, IREF researcher, analyzed the Happy Planet Index and reveals the trick.
By Nicolas Lecaussin
The French government recently announced the creation of 100 000 green jobs over the next three years. The goal is of course to stem rising unemployment. However, the tangible results of creating green jobs in several countries, as well as the real costs of these jobs, should have given food for thought before taking action.
In France, an IREF study (“Les mythes des emplois verts”) published in early 2011 showed that the term is ambiguous and calculated the real cost of a green job, based on official reports. The definition of green jobs is rather vague, although there is an official handbook on green growth (“Focus on 50 professions for green growth”). Among these, most already exist (gardeners, sewermen, cleaners, geologists …). Others seem to come straight out of a vaudeville: nature discovery guide, eco-museum guide, eco-interpreter, nature guide…