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Work toward net zero

As the world transitions to net zero, a new category of worker is evolving- the Green Collar workforce.

Today, more than 800 million jobs worldwide are highly vulnerable to climate extremes and the economic transition to net zero.

But with coordinated and rapid decarbonisation and the right policies in place, more than 300 million additional Green Collar jobs can be created by 2050.

With so much to lose, and even more to gain. How do we make the workforce transition, work for all?

The workforce impacts of climate change and decarbonization

More than 800 million jobs worldwide—around one quarter of the global workforce today—are highly vulnerable to climate extremes and economic transition impacts.

The impacts will be particularly severe in Asia Pacific and Africa, with many workforces in these regions, such as India and China, having more than 40% of employment in highly exposed industries.

Government coordination is key to ensuring the transition takes place at the optimal pace and scale to achieve the greatest possible economic growth and job creation while mitigating climate impacts and costs to vulnerable workers.

Creating job opportunities from equity in transition

With rapid decarbonisation and active transition policy in the coming decade, all regions globally can have higher economic growth and more jobs, compared to an unassisted transition. More than 300 million additional jobs globally can be created by 2050 from seizing the decarbonisation opportunity and making the transition work for all.

Building a new Green Collar workforce

The transition to net-zero emissions creates a cadre of workers with new skills.

A Green Collar worker can be an office worker or a manual labourer. It is not about the industry, location or skills of a worker that makes them Green Collar; it is about how decarbonisation does (or doesn’t) influence their work and their skills.

Some existing occupations will significantly transform, others may only need to change at the margins and entirely new ones will emerge as the Green Collar workforce shapes the future of work.

Setting a policy agenda for the Green Collar workforce

The Deloitte Economics Institute has developed a Green Collar workforce policy agenda to guide how decision-makers should consider supporting industries and workers to adapt to global decarbonisation for equitable employment outcomes.

The policy agenda is shaped by the need for an active transition to net zero globally and this means an active role for governments globally in workforce and decarbonisation policy efforts.

Each region will have its own unique pathway to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. While this report provides a global perspective, it is critical to determine how to leverage the policy framework based on the specifics of a local workforce and the skills needed to drive an economy in a net-zero world.

Global Job Vulnerability Index

Identifying the workforces most vulnerable to change

No region, industry, or job is without job vulnerability, but some have a significantly higher level of risk compared to others.

The Index indicates relative “job vulnerability” based on a region having the most to lose (economically and socially) if policy does not mitigate both climate change impacts and the costs from the economic transition to net zero.

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