This Article is From Feb 25, 2022

As World Aims For 'Green Economy', Climate Consciousness Will Be Key For Techies

The focus on tech-driven solutions for the climate change crisis is likely to have an impact on the economy and the job market.

As World Aims For 'Green Economy', Climate Consciousness Will Be Key For Techies

The renewable energy sector pegged as a major employer of the future.

New Delhi:

In a recent survey conducted by Bosch Tech Compass, 80% of Indian respondents and 76% of global respondents believed that technology can play a major role in combating climate change. The survey results highlight the rise of green technology - the use of technology to reduce human impact on the environment - as climate change mitigation and sustainability are becoming the focal points for countries. 

"Green technology has been helping in reducing carbon emission, facilitating adaptation and resilience to climate change by disaster-preparedness, drought-resistant crops and smarter climate insurance," says Anshuman Bapna, Founder,, a climate change education platform.  

It comes as no surprise that green technology is raking in huge investments. In particular, the sub-sector of climate technology, which explicitly focus on climate change mitigation, attracted investments worth $87.5 billion between June 2020-2021, as per a PwC report. India, according to another report, is among the top destinations for climate-tech investment, attracting investment worth $1 billion between 2016 and 2021.  

"Technology is vital in limiting global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius," says Sarah-Jane Littleford, Head of Responsible Business, Fujitsu Global Service Business Group, adding that the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) report too had backed technology-driven changes. 

Nalin Agarwal, Founding Partner, Climate Seeds Fund, argues that emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Electric Vehicles etc, can help meet nearly half of the intended reductions in the future. "AI and IOT for climate change mitigation is becoming more ubiquitous," Agarwal notes.  

'Green Economy' And Jobs 

The focus on tech-driven solutions for the climate change crisis is likely to have an impact on the economy and the job market. 

According to a World Economic Forum study, India can leverage "green growth" - environmentally sustainable economic growth aided by green technology - to add $15 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2070 and create more than 50 million jobs by 2030.  

Under the umbrella of green technology comes the renewable energy sector - pegged as a major employer of the future. According to a Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) study, installing 238 GW solar and 101 GW new wind capacity will help in creating a workforce of about one million by 2030. However, the lack of appropriately skilled workforce continues to be a problem. 

The importance of skilling the workforce for a "green economy" has also been recognised by the government, which in 2015 launched the Skill Council for Green Jobs, as part of its National Skill Development Mission. A 2022 report - 'India's Expanding Clean Energy Workforce' - says that at least one lakh workers in the renewable energy sector were trained by the Skill Council for Green Jobs between 2016 and 2021.  

But re-skilling for 'green jobs' is not limited to just enhancing technical knowledge of the workforce. Littleford argues that people with sector-neutral skills like problem solving, collaborative working, emotional intelligence and critical thinking can drive real change in climate change mitigation. "Understanding that effects can be global as well as local and always looking for what is the bigger picture are also important," she says.  

A recent multi-nation survey conducted by YouGov provides an insight into the phenomenon of "green jobs" in India and the world. About 3/4th of the people said they would be interested in a 'green job' which helps tackle climate change. At least, 45% of those surveyed said working in the green economy will have a positive global impact. 

Climate Change Knowledge Is Key   

The formula is simple: Technical expertise and climate change sensitisation will create the workforce to fight climate change. 

Both Bapna and Agarwal agree that climate change is an interdisciplinary space. "Someone in clean energy sector needs to not only understand how solar or wind power technologies work, but also knowledge of several subjects connected to climate change," Agarwal elaborates.   

Bapna, whose organisation focuses on climate education, adds that professionals who have spent many years in a single arena will need further push to learn the interconnectedness between climate change and technology. "Just like how internet upended every industry, climate change is going to do the same to every sector in the next two decades," believes Bapna while stressing the need for a climate conscious workforce. 

Littleford argues that the knowledge about climate change will be fundamental for everyone in the technology job market as it impacts everything. "Those entering the technology field need to focus on what can be done to enable greener choices in businesses and as a consumer," she says.  

In a 2021 speech, Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP, perhaps cited the single biggest reason for companies to move towards becoming climate conscious - decline in profitability. But it is 'wait and watch' now how much climate conscious businesses will contribute to a truly 'green economy'.