Green skills, education and training made their mark at COP 21

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© UNESCO

UNESCO and UNESCO-UNEVOC seized the momentum of the Paris climate conference, COP21 to highlight the key role of green skills, education and training for green jobs.

Speaking on the occasion of the adoption of the historic Paris agreement on climate change, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stressed: “COP21 has created a momentum in changing peoples’ minds and preparing them to embrace the economic and life-style adjustments we all need to make to preserve human life on the planet.”

Over the course of the conference four side-events were organized by UNESCO and UNESCO-UNEVOC in collaboration with the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the Asian Development Bank, International Labour Organisation, the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management, the French Development Agency and Alliance Villes Emploi.

They were designed to target different audiences and stakeholders including policy-makers, negotiators and civil society with panellists and participants debating climate change, the energy transition and the implications for economic, labour market, training and education policies.

The clear message to emerge from these discussions was the importance of developing and implementing integrated and aligned policies involving all stakeholders. They also showed the necessity to strengthen the capacity development of decision-makers including leaders, teachers and education managers and to ensure adequate financing of skills development.  

During one panel discussion, David Atchoarena, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems at UNESCO, also stressed the importance of anticipating and identifying emerging skills’ needs to accompany the evolution of jobs caused by the energy transition and to mitigate climate change.

UNESCO and UNESCO-UNEVOC mobilized the Inter-Agency Working Group on Greening TVET and Skills (IAWG) for three events organized during the COP 21 Thematic Day on Education on 4 December at UNESCO’s Headquarters and Le Bourget, Paris. The discussions focused on Integrated Policy Actions for Greener Economy, Society and Workplace. The events enabled numerous stakeholders to showcase international, regional and national projects and outcomes related to boosting green skills and meeting green jobs. The IAWG agreed to jointly develop common projects that will promote promising practices in mobilising local communities to accelerate transition to green economies and tapping indigenous knowledge.

In keeping with the momentum, the first global forum on green economy, “Engaging Learning Institutions and Professionals in Shaping an Inclusive Green Economy”, was hosted at OECD, Paris from 16-18 December organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC, with OECD and the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE).

The forum brought together policy-makers, development partners, representatives from education and training institutions, NGOs and business associations to identify opportunities for scaling-up green economy learning and to engage learning institutions in integrating green economy concepts within existing courses.

UNESCO and UNESCO-UNEVOC are committed to support Member States in identifying the skills demands for addressing climate change challenges and promote TVET policies and programmes that contribute to environmental sustainability and to the development of educational innovations needed to address climate change.