Green economy projects have created thousands of decent work opportunities that contribute to reducing unemployment among youths of all ages and genders, experts and researchers say.
During a dialogue session held by Phenix Center for Economic and Informatics Studies in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, titled “Green Economy: Towards Providing Decent Work”, experts and researchers confirmed that green economy projects can create thousands of decent work opportunities that contribute to reducing unemployment among youths of all ages and genders.
During the dialogue session, participants agreed that the Government is still failing to take full advantage of solar and natural resources and demanded expediting the move towards reusable energy as it results in reduced expenditures and increased support for the national economy.
According to Jordan’s Ministry of Environment, a green economy is defined as a sustainable economy that preserves the environment and its various elements, guarantees social justice and reduces poverty and unemployment.
Dr Jehad Al-Sawaeer mentioned that the Ministry has been working since 2012 to push national efforts to shift towards the green economy after conducting evaluation studies that culminated in 2017 in the preparation of a National Green Growth Plan. The National Green Growth Plan (NGGP) has adopted broad guidelines on its path to turning it into “green projects” in the energy, waste, water, agriculture, tourism and transport sectors.
Al-Sawaeer noted that the NGGP guarantees 86 actions in these sectors, divided between enabling to improve the environment for the green economy and green investment projects.
Green economic growth cannot be achieved unilaterally, he said, as it is an economy that “covers all segments of society, which means that it is necessary to create sustainable sectors, where clean technology is used, especially to deal with climate change”.
Al-Sawaeer noted that Jordan’s most prominent challenge towards green growth is the “lack of awareness of the concept of the green economy”, where people confuse the terms economy and green economy. This calls for raising awareness on different sides, as well as empowering more sectors.
Ms Shatha Al-Sharif said Jordan is one of the countries in the region that is advanced in climate and environmental legislation, but there is an urgent need today to translate this legislation into real projects in cooperation with the private sector.
Al-Sharif noted that the country is moving on the right path towards a green economy, especially since Jordan is “a country rich in science and technology… and we can turn resource scarcity in some sectors into successful opportunities.”
Dr Amer al-Jabbarin cited examples of Jordan’s ability to shift towards a green economy.
Al-Jabbarin said the green economy must be built in thought and awareness before legislation and application so that society can accept it more and facilitate its application.
He noted that 50% of Jordan’s waste is food waste, which is disposed of, and if the Government provides opportunities to convert it into fodder, it will create a huge number of jobs.
He criticized the failure to take advantage of the solar belt, which has “the highest solar radiation in the world” to create green projects, such as converting imported barrels of oil into solar investments, which could employ 4,000 engineers in five years, as well as create 10,000 job opportunities for workers.