Need to increase green workforce to meet environmental goals pushed

Countries need to facilitate greater job-creation investments that would fill the unmet need for social and green jobs, according to a report by the Davos-based World Economic Forum (WEF).

“This requires a multistakeholder approach in which businesses, governments and unions are aligned on a new vision for a better future of work that is built on labor market foresight, focuses on good job creation, and supports fair wages and dynamic job transitions,” the
white paper said.

The WEF report said the climate crisis and geopolitical tensions are accelerating the shift towards greener economies and greater energy independence.

“Providing a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economy is a key policy goal for many countries,” it said.

The report said inequality and sustainability are important issues for policy-makers, business leaders and populations globally.

“This provides an impetus for adequate and targeted investments to expand the social and green sectors and associated jobs, supported by public and private re-employment policies and job-transition support,” it said.

“In addition, such policies will need to be accompanied by training, upskilling and reskilling initiatives as well as innovative social protection measures to secure livelihoods,” it added.

To meet inclusion and environmental ambitions, the WEF report quantified the need for social and green jobs particularly in 10 countries by 2030. These are Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

These countries require over 12 million, or 66 percent, more green jobs in agricultural, forestry and fishery; infrastructure; government; and energy sectors.

Environmental construction roles and environmental, civil and chemical engineers also have significant unmet need for green jobs.

“Social and green jobs can help countries improve societal resilience and address emissions-reduction targets. However, there is currently a gap between the social and green jobs in most economies today and the number of social and green jobs that could help countries achieve inclusion and emissions reduction aspirations in 2030,” the white paper said.

The WEF report said a labor force with green skills will be essential to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement –a pledge to keep global temperature rises below 2ºC and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5ºC.

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