Asia-Pacific sees emergence of Green Collar workforce
The Asia-Pacific region is witnessing the emergence of a Green Collar workforce, with 80% of the skills required for the low emissions transition already existing in the current workforce.
However, approximately 43% of these skilled employees are employed in industries vulnerable to climate change and the shift towards net zero, including agriculture, conventional energy, manufacturing, transportation, and construction. To ensure the resilience of Asia-Pacific economies, minimising job disruption through investments in climate adaptation and accelerating the transition to net zero is crucial, said Deloitte.
Will Symons, Deloitte Asia-Pacific Sustainability and Climate Leader, explained, “Asia-Pacific is exporting decarbonisation to the world, from renewable energies to innovation, and climate technology. By ensuring we prioritise this, we can avoid significant losses, promote economic growth, and generate up to 180 million jobs in the region.”
Investing in skills to develop a new Green Collar workforce is essential to unlocking the estimated US$47 trillion economic dividend resulting from coordinated action on climate change. Deloitte’s report, Work Toward Net Zero in the Asia-Pacific: The Rise of the Green Collar Workforce in a Just Transition, emphasised the importance of policy measures aimed at skill development to foster a more equitable shift towards global net-zero emissions globally.
The report highlighted the presence of a strong pool of STEM talent in Asia-Pacific, with sectors like renewable energy experiencing employment growth. Although the region’s renewable energy has already led to a green jobs boom, with nearly two-thirds of the world’s renewable energy jobs located in Asia-Pacific, with China alone accounting for 42% of the global total in 2022, achieving net-zero emissions in less than 30 years requires an industrial revolution and new types of work, said Deloitte.
Dr Pradeep Philip, Head of Deloitte Access Economics in Australia, concluded, “How governments act individually and collectively to support these employees to adapt, contribute and thrive as our economy transforms will be one of the biggest determinates of equality in the coming decades. No country can do it alone, but together it is possible to influence a just transition where benefits far surpass the cost.”