Around nine million people work in the EU’s low carbon sector.
The number is expected to be doubled by 2030, said Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the EU Commission at the Hannover Messe 2016 in Germany.
He described the current transition to a low carbon economy as an “industrial revolution” which can represent a “goldmine for jobs and growth”.
Mr Šefčovič added: “The current industrial revolution is in some ways as profound and disruptive as the previous ones; nourished by several technological breakthroughs coinciding and mutually beneficial: the combination of new renewable energy and storage technologies, the appearance of electric cars, the hyper-connectivity of our devices through the ‘Internet of Things’ and the ability to produce and analyse ‘big data’. This is the new game-changer.
“This transformation offers us tremendous opportunities. We can fight climate change and allow economies to grow; we can provide for more energy and clean air; we can smarten our industrial production and our transport systems and we can improve the quality of life and create millions of new jobs worldwide at the same time.”
He insisted the “only way to solve this trade-off between energy and climate is through the deployment of low carbon technology and innovation”.
He went on: “I saw for myself the interest around the world for renewables, for energy efficient technologies but also for Smart City and digital solutions. Urban actors play a key role in developing integrated and sustainable solutions.
“We need to make sure that – through a dedicated instrument – smart financing is allocated to smart buildings and even extend to smart infrastructure and transport in the cities and regions that are embarking on the low-carbon transition.”
Mr Šefčovič said the EU plans this year is to review the legislation on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, energy performance of building directives and find ways to decarbonise and smarten the transport sector.
But he also insisted a right carbon price scheme is needed towards this transition.
He added: “It is uncontested that it is currently too low. Therefore, we proposed last July a reform of the Emission Trading System for the time after 2020.”