Green Economy Jobs for Youth
The potential of green economy jobs for youth deserves more attention.
Youth unemployment may be one of the world’s most pressing concern but climate change is not far behind – unusual weather patterns, increased floods, stronger heat waves and other disasters are already affecting the health, economies and agriculture of populations everywhere.
Youth unemployment and climate change may seem like very different problems, but they have a mutually beneficial solution.
The green economy – defined by the UNEP as low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially-inclusive – replacing the current fossil fuel-based economy is projected to create 15 to 60 million new jobs.
The current brown economy relies on oil, gas and coal, the use of which generates the greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Fossil fuels are also unsustainable. The world’s oil deposits are predicted to dry up by 2052, and coal and gas reserves will run out eight years after that.
By implementing new energy sources, like wind, solar and wave power, and making buildings, transportation and products more energy efficient and environmentally sound, the importance of the green economy in ushering in a future that is clean and sustainable is finally being realised.
The ILO identifies eight key sectors that will be energised by a green economy transition: agriculture, forestry, fishing, energy, manufacturing, recycling, building and transport.
Growth in this new economic system is certain. As such, the potential in this market translates to potential for the millions of young people unemployed.
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are poised to lead the way. As they expand, so will the job opportunities.
Green economy jobs will require new competencies and skills sets. By emphasising job opportunities and environmental sustainability, education and programmes can motivate youths to pursue training, employment or education in fields related to the green economy.
Considering the potential of SMEs, entrepreneurship initiatives can help, too.
By giving young people the encouragement, experience and knowledge to contribute to a greener economy, they will have the skills to get a green economy job – a truly sustainable career path. Join us in this effort at the International Youth Job Creation Summit this November.
Sources: UNEP, ILO, BBC, ecotricity.co.uk
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