#ClimateWednesday: Climate Action for Green Jobs By Ediongsenyene Ndunobong
Climate change is real. On a daily basis, we are seeing and feeling the impacts of these changes. To help curb these dastardly impacts of climate change, all hands must be on deck, taking climate action and the time to act is now.
In recruitment, the term ‘green job’ can apply to any role, long or short-term, that alleges to have a positive impact on the current or future environment.
What are Green Jobs?
Green jobs are those roles that have a direct, positive impact on the planet. This includes jobs with environmentally-conscious credentials, such as those in energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles, conservation, sustainability, waste reduction and adaptation to, or reduction in, climate change. It also covers jobs in the circular economy.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines green jobs as “positions in agriculture, manufacturing, administrative, and service activities aimed at substantially preserving or restoring environmental quality”.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines green jobs to be “Jobs that reduces the consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimize waste and pollution, protect and restore ecosystems and enable enterprises and communities to adapt to climate change. In addition, green jobs have to be decent.”
However, we must note that green jobs can be either in the production or service sector of the economy.
Examples of Green Jobs
1. Green jobs can be found in almost any industry, but some are more likely than others. You’ll typically find green jobs in these sectors:
2. Administration — including jobs such as an environmental health specialist, green data analyst, environmental lawyer or accountant.
3. Agriculture — including jobs in organic farming, agricultural technicians and farming managers.
4. Energy — including jobs such as renewable energy technicians and operators, solar panel installation, wind turbine engineers and nuclear energy engineers, etc.
5. Engineering — including jobs such as mechanical engineers, urban planners, water resources engineers and air quality engineers.
6. Housing — including jobs such as architects, landscape designers, civil engineers, urban planners and geologists.
7. Manufacturing — including jobs such as packaging design and building material manufacturers, etc.
8. Technology — including jobs such as an environmental scientist, climate scientist or environmental technician.
9. Transportation — including jobs in electric vehicle design and manufacture, electric public transport and electric haulage.
10. Waste removal — including jobs such as a recycling coordinator and refuse collector.
The Importance of Green Jobs.
It’s evident that green jobs are essential for future-proofing the planet. There’s a long way to go if we’re to reverse the environmental damage that’s been done and tackle the impending climate crisis, but there’s also enormous potential in the jobs market to help make those necessary changes to the way we live and grow as a society.
Green jobs are also important because they provide an optimistic and stable future for the young people of today.
The Skills Required for Green Jobs
Just like in any other field of human endeavours, to enhance your chances of attaining a green job, it’s important that you have the appropriate skill set and training, without undermining the place of mentorship and the right mindset. The skills and training you’ll find useful for green jobs include:
1. A degree in a relevant subject, such as environmental science, biochemistry, sustainability management or electrical vehicle engineering.
2. A training course or certificate in a topic relevant to the environmental sector, such as Environmental Awareness training or an apprenticeship in agriculture, energy or manufacturing.
3. Practical skills that help you contribute towards a circular economy, such as knowing how to repair equipment’s or mend things.
4. Relevant work experience or volunteering, like getting involved in local community sustainability projects or work experience of the industry you want to join.
5. Demonstrable transferable skills, like good communication skills, critical thinking, creativity and teamwork, which can be adapted for any industry and any job role. Etc.
Final thoughts: From the foregoing, it is obvious that the future is green job, especially if we must act sustainably in harmony with nature.
The time is now for the youths to dust up or learn climate smart skills if they must be key players in the green jobs space. Amazing, young people getting creatively involved in the green job space has a ripple effects, being that through their enterprises, they can create jobs for other young people, thereby solving environmental problems on one hand and reducing unemployment on the other.
By Ediongsenyene Ndunobong