100,000 eco-friendly jobs possible in investment plan, claim Greens

UP to 100,000 jobs could be created over the next decade by investing in eco-friendly projects, the Greens have claimed.

100,000 eco-friendly jobs possible in investment plan, claim Greens

Down to just 1% in some opinion polls, the former junior coalition partner said a quarter of the jobs could come from investing €500m from the National Pension Reserve Fund to insulate homes and offices.

Transforming Ireland into an exporter of renewable energy such as wind and wave power and building an interconnector to link the country to the rest of Europe could also help create a “green recovery”, the party claimed.

The Greens also called for the transferring of all public services to cloud computing and providing access for the private sector to Government data.

The party proposes the creation of a “green IFSC” for carbon verification and green financial services, and says it would abolish Forfás and move savings into the Enterprise Ireland and IDA grants.

Former Green energy minister Eamon Ryan said Ireland was especially well placed to take advantage of developments in the digital sector.

Mr Ryan bemoaned the fact that just 10% of small businesses are online and insisted an export-led internet hook-up was essential to spur growth.

This could be triggered by training young unemployed people as web experts and making them available to companies, he said. The party claims it has been responsible for creating 20,000 “green jobs” in government.

Green chairman Dan Boyle said the party’s jobs’ policy was based on sound financial planning with no promises of investment that the country cannot afford. “Our job creation plan is realistic but ambitious. And it will work.

“We are a party of difference and we are a party of new ideas,” Mr Boyle said many of these ideas get called upon by the other parties but they started with the Greens.

The so-called green jobs’ agenda has emerged as a key sector in employment creation in the election battle with Labour outlying ambitious plans which would see 30,000 people put back to work through a retro-fitting programme.

Labour’s energy spokesperson Liz McManus said the Greens had been about “talk rather than action” in the field of eco-friendly job creation during its time in power since 2007 when several opportunities for investment had been missed, she insisted.

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