The EU eco-industry directly employs around 3.4 million people, around 1.5% of all Europeans in employment - more than in car manufacturing, chemicals or textiles. Around 600,000 new jobs were created between 2004 and 2008, in sectors such as waste and water and new jobs willl needed as Europe continues to move towards its aim of becoming a low-carbon and resource efficient economy.


The number of jobs linked to the environment extends beyond the eco-industryy to sectors that depend on a good quality environment - such as organic agriculture, sustainable forestry and green tourism.  These jobs are often less visible than other jobs as they are spread throughout Europe among firms helping to improve environmental performance. Based on a narrow definition, around 5.6 million people are directly employed in jobs, linked to the environment.


There are many other jobs that are also dependent on the environment, though arguably to a lesser degree. Using wider definitions, such as 'all those working in agriculture', one in ten European jobs depends to some extent on the environment. These jobs support others elsewhere in the economy, for example through demand for components and materials. When these indirect effects are included, it is estimated that around one job in every six is somehow dependent on the environment.


Source: European Commission

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