Do you have green skills? Are you working for a sustainable company? How much of your work life contributes to the fight against climate change? In other words, what part can you play in a green economy over the coming year?
These are just some of the questions many people are asking themselves as the new year begins. Along with the more typical new year’s resolutions (eat better, exercise more, waste less, anyone?), considering how our careers impact the planet is topping the list for many who want to live more sustainably in 2023. So should we be adding green upskilling to this year’s list of resolutions?
‘Jobs are a critical part of the conversation about achieving this green transition. And rightly so. We expect to see millions of new jobs created globally in the next decade driven by new climate policies and commitments.’
While there’s no strict definition of a green economy, the UNEP describes it as: ‘one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.’
Undoubtedly society needs to transition to an economic system that has sustainable development at its core, and according to a research report by LinkedIn, there is already a massive shift underway in the global economy.
Analysing data provided by professionals that use the platform, LinkedIn’s ‘Global Green Skills’ report concluded that ‘green talent’ (those with skills that enable the environmental sustainability of economic activities) in the workforce worldwide is rising, with a growth rate of 38.5% since 2015.
LinkedIn’s CEO Ryan Roslansky said: ‘Jobs are a critical part of the conversation about achieving this green transition. And rightly so. We expect to see millions of new jobs created globally in the next decade driven by new climate policies and commitments.’
One strong indicator of the shift towards a more sustainable economy is that in the last five years, the number of Renewables & Environment jobs listed on the platform in the U.S. increased by 237%, while there was only a 19% increase for Oil & Gas jobs.
It’s a positive, but data shows that progress is likely to hit a major roadblock over the next few years. Demand for workers with green skills, for example those trained in pollution mitigation, waste prevention or sustainable procurement, is projected to quickly outstrip those available. In other words, there’s a pressing need for the global workforce to increase its green skills - and fast.
The report said: “The hard truth is that right now we are nowhere close to having sufficient green talent, green skills or green jobs to deliver the green transition. Based on the current trajectory of green skills growth in the labour market, we are not going to have sufficient human capital to meet our climate targets.”
Where does that leave us as individuals? Clearly green skills are going to be a huge asset for anyone looking to develop their career over the coming years. So the good news is that upskilling in ways that benefit the environment is likely to be very worthwhile, whether that’s to move into a greener job or develop your current role to make it more sustainable.
Meanwhile, business leaders and policy-makers must invest time and money in green training for employees, hiring green roles and creating space for future green talent to benefit both their companies and the planet.
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