Research shows more than 10,000 of the jobs created over the past three months were generated by the green economy with substantial potential down the line provided the Government gives greater backing to green issues.
The 55,000 figure could be significantly higher depending on the commitments made in the years ahead.
Released by the Green Party, its spokeswoman said the figures have “been conservatively estimated and the ability of the sector to create substantial employment are potentially much higher”.
The party did not want to put figures into the public domain “that could not stand up”, she said.
In the current environment with such strong emphasis on energy conservation as well as the drive toward renewables the full figures could be well above those estimates, she said.
Commenting on the findings, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said the figures showed the Green Party has been delivering in Government “what we most require – jobs.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that “the recovery will be Green”, he said.
Those jobs are being created across a range of businesses including organic farming, energy efficient construction, electric cars, biofuels, manufacturing, servicing and in the energy sectors, particularly in the area of green electricity.
“These green jobs are long-lasting and won’t disappear like the construction jobs that have evaporated in this recession.
“Well over 10,000 jobs have already been announced for this year and we can expect this figure to rise,” he said.
Figures show more than 50,000 jobs in the green economy are possible in the next decade.
As people search for a way to save money, whether it’s by buying a cheaper, more fuel-efficient car, cutting home energy costs, or eating locally produced organic food, green alternatives are proving themselves to be real money-spinners and green businesses are flourishing.
Mr Ryan said the Green Party in Government had changed the rules and put in place the policies that are creating the jobs.
The potential is there and if we became a European leader in ocean energy, such a move would yield 20,000 jobs according to John McCarthy of Ocean Energy Inc, said Mr Ryan.
Incentivising micro-electricity generation in rural areas would add a further 8,000 jobs while a greater focus on bio-fuels could create 900 to 5,000 rural jobs with Government support, according to research carried out by the IFA and the Western Development Commission, he said.