The creation of 30 million jobs globally by the energy transition will not balance out the 5 million jobs lost in the fossil fuel industry because they are located in different places, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) chief said May 19 at the Columbia Global Energy Summit.

World governments, including the U.S., would also need to deliver a blunt message to the investment community that putting money into “dirty” fuels is a risky business decision, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said.

Speaking just a day after the IEA released its net-zero roadmap, Birol said the clean energy sector will benefit from a presumed huge investment. Based on governments’ commitments to emission reductions, the IEA estimates that 30 million positions will need to be filled for construction of solar panels, electricity grids, electric vehicle manufacturing and other efficiencies.

But it’s not as simple as that.

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