- Green skills are essential for the transition to a green economy, with the ILO estimating that 24 million jobs globally could be created by the green economy by 2030.
- A shift to green jobs is underway, with job data from LinkedIn showing that in 2015 the ratio of oil / gas jobs in the US to renewables / environment jobs was 5: 1, but in 2020 it was 2: 1.
- We see green jobs in a wide range of industries, from the obvious like renewables to the more unexpected like finance, fashion tech and transportation.
The past few months of extreme weather incidents have been a devastating reminder of the damage the climate change crisis is inflicting on communities around the world. As world leaders discuss options at meetings such as the United Nations General Assembly, the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Impact Development Summit and COP26, much of the discussion will focus on accelerating the shift. to a green economy.
It is important to note that green skills are essential for the transition to a green economy. And it poses questions, challenges and opportunities for workforce planning on a global scale.
The transition to hiring for the green economy is well underway
Over the next decade, we expect to see millions of new jobs created around the world as a result of new climate policies and commitments. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 24 million jobs worldwide could be created by the green economy by 2030 alone.
On LinkedIn, we can see that the shift towards hiring for the green economy is already underway around the world. Since 2017, we have seen the demand for talent with green skills increase steadily as governments and businesses step up their commitments and actions to meet their climate and sustainability goals.
One of the most noticeable industry changes we’ve tracked in LinkedIn’s jobs data is the abandonment of jobs in the oil and gas industry and increasing roles in renewables and the environment. . In 2015, the ratio of oil and gas jobs in the United States to jobs in renewables and the environment was 5: 1, but by 2020, that ratio had approached 2: 1. At this rate, we expect renewables and the environment to actually outnumber oil and gas in the total number of jobs on our platform by 2023, a major pendulum shift. towards green jobs over a relatively short period of time.
As the need for these greener roles grows, employers are increasingly focusing on green skills rather than college degrees. This is in part due to the high demand and relatively low supply of talent. On our platform, we see scenarios where financial investors recruit climate scientists with no formal training in finance, but who know a lot about how to assess the climate benefits of an investment project. Candidates for green skills are assessed differently and stand out.
We define green talent as someone who has at least one skill explicitly listed on their profile that our expert taxonomists have classified as a “green” skill, and / or who works in a job that we consider to be “green” job. .
Green skills are skills or knowledge that a worker can use to prevent, monitor or clean up pollution, and optimize the management and conservation of natural resources that businesses use to produce goods and services. In addition to identifying over 600 green skills, we have identified over 400 different job titles that work towards greening the economy and generally require green skills.
On LinkedIn, many green skills reported by our members have seen double- and triple-digit growth over the past three years. Some of the fastest growing green skills are found in areas such as ecosystem management, environmental policy and sustainable purchasing.
This is an annual meeting showcasing the best examples of public-private cooperation and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies used to develop the sustainable development agenda.
It runs alongside the United Nations General Assembly, which this year hosts a one-day climate summit. This is timely given growing public fears – and citizen action – about weather conditions, pollution, healthy oceans and dwindling wildlife. It also reflects the understanding of the growing business case for action.
The UN Strategic Development Goals and the Paris Agreement provide the architecture to resolve many of these challenges. But to get there, we need to change the way we produce, operate and consume.
The work of the World Economic Forum is essential, with the summit providing the opportunity to debate, discuss and engage on these issues at the global political level.
While many of these skills are highly specialized and are concentrated in traditional green careers, such as environmental scientists, sustainability managers or wildlife biologists, we are also seeing a growing trend for green skills among professionals in roles that are not traditionally considered “green”.
For example, in the clothing industry, knowledge of sustainable fashion and pollution prevention is increasingly popular among salespeople, designers and stylists. And in the field of environmental finance, sustainable investing is increasingly reported by portfolio managers and investment analysts. Green skills are spreading in all types of roles.
Which industries are experiencing growth and demand for green skills?
There is no longer a single “green industry”. We see green jobs in a wide range of industries, from the obvious like renewables, to the unexpected like finance, fashion tech, and transportation.
Employers increasingly expect everyone in their workforce to actively think about how to do their jobs in a more sustainable way. And business leaders across all industries are setting ambitious goals to be carbon negative in the near future, with notable voices like Blackrock CEO Larry Fink calling on companies to make plans to be compatible with them. net zero targets by 2050.
While the development of green talent grows faster in sectors like energy and mining, green jobs and talent are actually more present in the sectors of health, agriculture, transport, construction and manufacturing.
What needs to be done to achieve a green economy?
Our analysis shows that it is essential to widen the openness through which we think about the skills and jobs that contribute to a clean and carbon-free economy. We need to include a range of jobs that are not traditionally seen as green – such as fashion designers or vehicle service technicians – because the way people do these jobs will have a major impact on achieving business goals. climate objectives by economies.
All industries must move forward together in this direction if we are to achieve a green economy.