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Green Skills for Youth: Toward a Sustainable World

"The chapter of global warming has concluded; the era of global boiling is upon us," as stated by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, highlighting the urgent need for climate action on a global scale. Since 1999, the UN General Assembly has designated the 12th of August annually as "International Youth Day" to enhance comprehension of the challenges faced by young individuals in their respective nations. The 2023 theme, "Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World," focuses on equipping the younger generation with the skills needed to navigate the future of green transition.


Green Skills encompass a wide range of "knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop, and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society," as noted by the UN. On one hand, “technical skills” facilitate the adept utilization of green technologies and processes within the professional sphere. This applies to roles such as solar panel installers and electric car manufacturers, where efficiency and precision are crucial. On the other hand, “transversal skills” draw upon a diverse pool of knowledge, values, and attitudes, empowering individuals to consistently make environmentally responsible choices both in their vocational pursuits and personal lives. Examples of such skills include critical thinking and collaborative aptitude, which are crucial in navigating the intricacies of sustainability challenges and devising innovative solutions.


According to the UN, it is estimated that climate change threatens 40% of all jobs that heavily rely on a healthy environment. This impact is especially noticeable in sectors like agricultural productivity, human health with increased morbidity and mortality rates, labor productivity affected by heat stress, and tourism patterns. As a result, the importance of acquiring Green Skills becomes crucial for achieving climate targets. In response to the imperative of a green transition, employers have undergone a significant shift by elevating their rates of green job recruitment. This has culminated in the UN's projection that by 2030, the green transition will generate 8.4 million jobs for young people. Consequently, it is notable that for each green job, 1.4 more jobs are created; green jobs yield job growth. Beyond conventional green occupations such as solar panel installation and green manufacturing of electric cars, the realm of green skills extends to various sectors such as sustainable fashion, design, and sales.


LinkedIn's data reveals that Green Skills are already driving the transformation of fossil fuel-heavy sectors in high-emission countries by promoting sustainable practices and fostering innovation. As countries worldwide work toward a sustainable future, the widespread integration of Green Skills across industries becomes imperative. This is crucial for businesses to effectively navigate the uncertainties of the climate crisis and unforeseen challenges. It presents an opportunity to prioritize both People and the Planet, ensuring that businesses can adapt and maintain resilience when confronting these issues.

On the journey toward a sustainable world, various opportunities emerge alongside challenges like job creation and loss due to unpredictable weather and limited resources in the future. To ensure the well-being of our communities, it is crucial for young people to integrate green skills into industries, thus shaping a more environmentally conscious future. As the next generation to steer the course of the world, youth play a pivotal role in this endeavor.

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