Green skills are skills that promote economic growth while protecting the environment. This article will explore the definition of green skills, the global facts on greens skills, and the current challenges we face.
Q. What are green skills?
A. Green skills are skills that promote economic growth while protecting the environment. The United Nations define green skills as the following.
“Green skills are the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.”
Why do we need green skills?
As we combat climate change and aim for carbon neutrality, innovation in science and technology is essential.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported in April that the average global surface temperatures are 1.15 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, warning that we are just 0.35 degrees Celsius away from the 1.5 degrees Celsius target.
Here are the reasons why we need to implement green skills.
· Addressing Environmental Crises: Green skills will help to effectively combat the challenges confronting modern society, such as climate change, pollution, and resource depletion.
· Fostering Economic Growth: Green technology industries, such as renewable energy and sustainable product development, offer avenues for generating new jobs and driving economic growth.
We can find the reasons for why we need green skills in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
· Sustainable Development Goal 9
SDG 9 includes the target of upgrading infrastructure and retrofitting industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes by 2030.
· Sustainable Development Goal 12
SDG 12 includes the target of achieving the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources by 2030.
Types of green skills
What are some examples of green skills? They can be divided into three main categories.
· Technical Skills: Renewable energy technologies, energy-saving research, sustainable farming, and more.
· Operation Management Skills: Strategic planning and management skills such as environment management systems design and green business models development.
· Communication and Education Skills: Ability to provide environmental education, communicate and disseminate environment-related information.
Different countries and regions focus on different green skills, and the scope and content of green technologies are constantly changing as technology advances in environmental and sustainability.
Green skills in US and Europe
Let’s take a look at some major green skills practiced in the US and Europe, the leading countries in this practice.
1. Green Skills at work in the United States
· Renewable energy technologies: Technology and skills utilizing renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy.
· Efficient energy: Diagnostic and retrofit skills to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.
· Natural resources management: Skills in sustainable forest management, water resource management, and ecosystem restoration
· Green construction: Sustainable building design, selection and use of green building materials.
2. Green Skills at work in Europe
· Environmental policy and regulation: The ability to design and implement policies and regulations to protect the environment.
· Circular economy: Strategies and technologies for the efficient use, recycling, and reuse of resources.
· Green transportation: Technology and management of electric and hybrid vehicles and public transportation systems
· Bioenergy and biotechnology: Technology for extracting and utilizing energy from sustainable biomass.
· Sustainable agriculture: Environmentally friendly farming techniques and resource management..
(Source : AFG)
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The economic impact of green skills
How much money would it cost to transition to green skills? A lot of money! But at the same time, green skills enhance the economy by creating more job opportunities and enhancing competitiveness.
With the emergence of climate change as a global crisis, the international community is pushing for a transition to sustainable technologies, with many countries providing financial support or incentives for green skills and sustainable businesses.
1. Creation of job opportunities: Jobs in sustainable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, green construction, and other green skills are growing. Having relevant green skills can lead to more job opportunities.
2. Increase competitiveness: When companies adopt a sustainable business model, they become more competitive on an international level. This is because the global community is strongly demanding that companies operate with environmentally friendly practices.
However, there is a huge shortage of talent with green skills compared to the demand. According to a recent report released on LinkedIn, “Global Green Skills Report 2023,” only one in eight workers worldwide has at least on green skill.
The report predicts that by 2026, demand for workers with green skills will exceed supply by 2%.
(Source: Global Green Skills Report 2023)
There are still many countries and people who do not fully recognize the importance of green skills, and many educational institutions and companies do not provide adequate education and training in green skills.
Toward a carbon-neutral planet!
In conclusion, green skills are indispensable tools in the battle against climate change and building of a sustainable future.
While the past decade has largely focused on establishing the foundational capabilities in green skills, the upcoming years should prioritize knowledge-sharing and the exchange of wisdom for achieving a net zero planet.
The journey toward a net zero planet is uncharted territory, necessitating collaborative efforts between developed and developing nations. Together we must expand education, training, and social awareness about green skills to pave the way for a greener and a more sustainable world.
“To embrace the future,
we must expand the scope of vocations that can herald the coming of peace.
Even though we may never meet our descendants, we must make sure that all their activities will harmonize in peaceful societies and nations.”
-Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon
Founder of Sunhak Peace Prize-
Written by: Yeon Je Choi
Translated by: Hyang Oh