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Greener Skills and Jobs

image of Greener Skills and Jobs

Green skills, that is, skills needed in a low-carbon economy, will be required in all sectors and at all levels in the workforce as emerging economic activities create new (or renewed) occupations. Structural changes will realign sectors that are likely to decline as a result of the greening of the economy and workers will need to be retrained accordingly. The successful transition to a low-carbon economy will only be possible if workers can flexibly adapt and transfer from areas of decreasing employment to new industries. This report suggests that the role of skills and education and training policies should be an important component of the ecological transformation process.

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Climate change adaptation and local development: The new imperatives for green skills development

This chapter offers a set of plausible new definitions of green jobs that are consistent with climate change governance, and identifies focus areas for new skills development based on both mitigation and adaptation activities. The lists of projects and activities relevant at local development levels are then mapped into local as well as non-local skill development activities that enable: i) effective transition to a low-carbon economy; ii) integration with the adaptation activities; and iii) alignment with local economic development strategies, including the promotion of job growth. The roles of transaction costs and public policies to assist an effective transition to the green economy via development of green skills are clarified. The chapter also offers a summary case study of the United States’ green jobs policy approaches, scenarios and changes in skill requirements. Illustrative sample strategies for green jobs at state and federal levels are reviewed, following the existing approaches toward the green economy and green jobs.

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