China's forest distribution

New research from the Worldwatch Institute shows that over the next 10 years, afforestation efforts in China—planting forests where there were none before—could lead to the creation of more than 1 million “green jobs” in 2020 alone. If indirect employment opportunities in related sectors are also included, China’s investment in its forestry sector could generate as many as 2.5 million green jobs in 2020.

These are among the findings of an upcoming Worldwatch research report exploring the potential for green job opportunities in China, focusing on three main sectors: forestry, power generation, and transportation. The goal of the study, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and written in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, is to examine the current status and future potential of China’s green economy.

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afforestation, China, emissions reductions, forestry, green economy, green jobs

International youth invite delegates to hide their emissions by throwing plastic "emissions" balls through a parody of the LULUCF loophole rules (Photo courtesy SustainUS)

Logging loopholes, gigaton gaps, and other funny phrases await resolution from negotiators now that the United Nations climate talks have wrapped up in Bonn. From finance to forests, a lot of issues will be taken up by governments when they meet again in—surprise—Bonn, in August, and then again in China later this year. Waiting until the annual high-level climate summit in Cancun, Mexico, in November to address these issues would leave little chance of solving them by that summit’s end.

Land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) issues dominated much of the discussion in Bonn. Many developed (Annex I) nations argued for historical “baseline” rules that would give them credit for more emissions reductions than they actually achieved. That baseline serves as a reference period for assessing how greenhouse gas emissions from forestry practices (mostly logging) and land use activities (creating or destroying wetlands, grasslands, etc.) have changed over time due to human activity. If developed countries get their way, the rules would allow carbon storage from forest growth to count toward their reductions, but ignore future emissions from fires and logging.

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