Many nations claim to be pursuing a 'green growth' model in response to global economic and climate crises including ambitious green jobs projections. The rural dimension of this issue requires closer attention. This article draws on secondary sources and Australian Bureau of Statistics data to critically analyse green jobs projections based on the general contours of rural working life in Australia and the ecological modernisation perspective that underpins much of the green growth and green jobs literature. The article contends that given the erosion of rural working life in Australia and the natural environment are a product of global neoliberal capitalism, the green jobs model that is part and parcel of this environmentally unsustainable political economy is unlikely to resolve existing ecological, rural or labour concerns. Hence, alternative pathways to environmentally sustainable rural livelihoods need to be pursued by those directly affected, bearing in mind the common ground they share with rural constituencies in other places and times.