According to the ILO, 100 million jobs can be created through the transition to sustainable energy sources and a circular economy scenario.
Simultaneously, some existing jobs are expected to run out of its course, making the benefits of the transition to green jobs to be unlikely distributed geographically or demographically unless young employees are provided with the necessary training and support systems.
Green skills are defined as the use of technical knowledge, expertise and abilities that enable the effective use of green technologies and processes in professional settings.
“A clearly positive – and very welcome – trend in recent years is that youth attendance at UN climate change conferences continues to grow,” said the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Simon Stiell.
According to the United Nations, half of the world’s population is 30 years old or younger, a figure expected to reach 57% by the end of 2030.
“One of the main challenges we face as young people in accessing green jobs is the lack of clarity on career paths and training resources, as well as the lack of mentoring or support systems to develop a green career,” Kristy Drutman, co-founder of Green Jobs Board, a platform that provides a one-stop source for environmental job seekers to discover and learn about green job opportunities, told the UNFCC.
The UN Climate Change has adopted a term “Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE” to denote work under Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement.
ACE provides tools to change the systems, attitudes and behaviors needed to transition to a just, low-emission and climate-resilient world. Hence, the ACE elements of education, public awareness and training are vital within the context of green skills.
“The reality of young people, as diverse as it is on a global scale, has many commonalities: greater vulnerability in living conditions, lower salaries and greater difficulties to emancipate, uncertainty about the near future, unequal access to higher education, among others”, stressed Marc Collado, member of the Green Jobs Working Group of the official children and youth constituency to UN Climate Change (YOUNGO).
The UN Climate Change said that a successful transition requires addressing the challenges young people face in accessing opportunities to develop green skills whilst incorporating these needs into “countries’ development strategies through greater policy coordination, social dialogue, and collaboration.”
“It is also very important to have more young people in climate decision-making spaces. We must see young people as key stakeholders in our transition to low-carbon economies”, said Fatou Jeng, Youth Climate Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General and founder of Clean Earth Gambia.