395 mn new jobs by 2030 if nature is prioritised: WEF

July 17, 2020 - Switzerland

‘Nature-positive’ solutions can create 395 million jobs by 2030, says a study by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which offers blueprints for businesses to tap into a $10.1-trillion opportunity, focusing on actions that add value to nature. A companion report was also released to help decision makers see nature as a form of capital and, if properly managed, the basis of society’s long-term well-being, resilience and prosperity.

The equivalent of a garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned every second, meaning $500 billion is lost every year as a result of discarded clothing. Using more renewable inputs and reusing, refurbishing and recycling clothes could lead to $130 billion in savings and prevent 148 million tonnes of textile waste by 2030, the study report says.

With $305 billion in additional revenue opportunities, the global waste management market could double in 10 years with the right investments in South Asia, East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, it says. Over 4.3 million jobs and $195 billion in business opportunities can come from precision-agriculture technologies by 2030. With 40 per cent improvements in yields expected, investments could yield returns of over 10 per cent.

About 40 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) comes from the environment we build—office buildings, homes and transport. Nature-positive solutions can create 117 million new jobs and $3 trillion in additional revenue or cost savings by 2030, adds the report.

“We must use the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to reset humanity’s relationship with nature. Investing in biodiversity and the environment offers the chance of building better economies and our resilience as a species,” said Carlos Alvarado Quesada, president of Costa Rica.

“As we enter into a historic decade of action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and address climate change, business has a critical role to play in environmental stewardship of our planet,” said Inger Andersen, United Nations under secretary general and executive director of the UN Environment Programme.