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Work Towards Net Zero in Asia Pacific

The Rise of the Green Collar Workforce in a Just Transition

The Asia Pacific region is one of the most physically exposed regions in the world when it comes to climate change with temperatures rising twice as fast as anywhere else in the world. On top of that, our region faces the added risk of high employment in industries that will face disruption from the low emissions transition.

The Deloitte Economics Institute estimates 43% of workers in Asia-Pacific are employed in vulnerable industries, such as agriculture, conventional energy, manufacturing, transportation and construction. In Australia the figure is 26%, just over one quarter of our workforce. How leaders invest in the development and resilience of their workforce will determine if the climate challenge is won or lost.

But while our region has the most to lose from inaction on climate change, it also has much to gain from investing in green innovation and decarbonisation. With an abundance of natural, human and technological capital, the Asia-Pacific region is uniquely positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities and create jobs.

This new report outlines Deloitte’s Green Collar workforce policy agenda, demonstrating how Asia-Pacific governments can lead the way in tackling the climate crisis, while increasing resilience of those most vulnerable and ensuring equitable employment outcomes.

Key insights: 

  • If Asia-Pacific economies rapidly decarbonise and make the transition work for all, 180 million jobs can be created by 2050 
  • Strong climate action could deliver $47 trillion to Asia-Pacific economies by 2070  
  • 80% of the skills required in the short-medium term to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 already exist.

Will Symons, Deloitte Asia Pacific Climate & Sustainability Leader said: “Asia Pacific is exporting decarbonisation to the world, from renewable energies to innovation, and climate technology. The transition is already underway, and the success of global decarbonisation efforts will rely on the skills and expertise of the workforce across the region. By ensuring we prioritise this, we can avoid significant losses, promote economic growth and generate up to 180 million jobs in the region.” 

Dr. Pradeep Philip, Head of Deloitte Access Economics said: “Our analysis shows that 80% of the skills that will be required for jobs in our increasingly decarbonised economy already exist. It’s clear that these skills and the Green Collar workforce will be drivers of the transition—not consequences of the transition.” 

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