IMF: ‘Climate change will create jobs’

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said Thursday that climate change will drive job creation.

“Climate change will create jobs. It will create disasters before it creates jobs, but it will create jobs,” Lagarde said on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe.”

Her remark came in a wide-ranging interview about the global economy.

She cited climate change in response to a question about where job growth can occur at a time when workers are getting displaced by automation.

{mosads}“It is a major issue, particularly at a time when robot-ization is developing in many of these advanced economies,” she said.

“But you know there will be areas of growth. You talk about green growth — that will be associated with particular jobs for which the training has not yet been invented and needs to be aggregated and put together,” Lagarde said Thursday.

She also noted jobs associated with caring for aging populations.

Her comments arrive as Republicans are attacking President Obama’s second-term climate agenda unveiled earlier this week, arguing that new power plant emissions rules in particular will cost jobs and raise energy costs.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor Tuesday that Obama’s plans will hurt the coal sector, which is “tantamount to kicking the ladder out from beneath the feet of many Americans struggling in today’s economy.”

The White House is pushing back against the charge that new steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions will hurt the economy, noting that earlier Clean Air Act rules for other pollutants didn’t have that effect.

“[T]he numbers speak for themselves: between 1970 and 2011, aggregate emissions of common air pollutants dropped 68 percent, while the U.S. gross domestic product grew 212 percent. Private sector jobs increased by 88 percent during the same period,” White House climate aide Heather Zichal said in a blog post Wednesday afternoon.

Backers of tougher steps to curb emissions, such as power plant rules and beefed-up appliance efficiency standards, say they spur innovation in the economy.

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