On 17 July, Milan hosted the first joint informal meeting of the European Employment and Environment Ministers. This unprecedented meeting was called by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union: indeed, for the first time during a European semester the two topics, environment and employment, were addressed during the same days of work and in a transversal manner. The meeting sought by the Italian Employment Minister Poletti and the Italian Environment Minister Galletti was attended by the European Commissioners Làszlo Andor, Janez Potocnik and Connier Hedegaard, the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder and the OECD Environment Director Simon Upton.
The meeting focused on the recognition of the proper economic value of natural capital, which goes hand in hand with social and environmental welfare. Green economy in recent years has seen a great expansion in Europe and it has created billions of new jobs linked to the production of renewable energies, energy efficiency, waste reduction and development of green infrastructure. EU Commission, which has been playing a proactive role in the development of the green economy and the creation of new jobs, states in his last report that 4 million “green jobs” were created between 2002 and 2011 and 1 million of these jobs were created between 2007 and 2011. “Green jobs” are the result of a growth model that is sustainable both from an environmental and an economic point of view and can become highly efficient production patterns with the adequate development of technologies and of resources management.
The six-month Italian Presidency of the EU Council, the two Ministers declared, intends to give practical effect to the policy orientations which came out of the debate on green growth on the development a well-defined green labour market and to review Europe 2020 strategy in order to realise a transition towards a European green economy.
Here is the European Commission repoort with the updated data on green jobs.