Researchers said on Wednesday that about 15 million green jobs in climate and nature protection could be created for Latin America if countries would take part in a sustainable economic recovery plan by cutting carbon emissions whenever possible.

According to a report, countries who are willing to participate in the initiative will join Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Labour Organization (ILO)'s bid to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. To achieve this goal, countries within the Latin American region will have to decarbonize their economy and make huge changes in their transportation, agricultural and manufacturing sectors. 

Vinicius Pinheiro, Director for the Latin American and Caribbean regions at ILO, said that creating jobs whilst combating climate change is not all that impossible.

He detailed that although the shift would eliminate 7.5 million jobs in areas such as fossil-fuel extraction and livestock farming, another 22.5 million new jobs will be added if countries would strive to improve energy efficiency by investing in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. 

Graham Watkins who is a lead environmental specialist at IDB's Climate Change division said that consumers would similarly need to alter their diets by eating less meat and animal products as beef production significantly contributes to forest clearance incidents in South America. This means that the shift to plant-based food will help staunch deforestation. 

However, the said plan could be a challenge as the Latin America and the Caribbean are known to be the world's largest net food exporter. Jobs will be put at stake and it is still unknown how well people employed in livestock farming would adjust to plant-based production. Some lands in these two regions are also only suitable for animal production but not for crop cultivation. 

Firms and establishments in these regions will have to practice greener business processes and governments will then be required to provide support and incentives as positive reinforcement.

Notably, some Latin American countries like Chile and Costa Rica have already pledged their support to IDB and ILO's green initiative and are already mobilizing measures to attain net-zero emissions even before the target year, 2050.

idb The Inter-American Development Bank is the biggest multilateral source of funding for the region. Creative Commons