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Green Jobs: Promising yet Untapped Opportunity

CASE-Green Economy

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Jakarta, November 6, 2021 – Green jobs have become an issue that is starting to be discussed a lot. Young people try to understand green jobs to figure out what fields are included in green jobs, what are the prospects for future opportunities, as well as what should be prepared to work in this sector. Project Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy (CASE) for Southeast Asia in collaboration with Indonesia Mengglobal hosted a webinar entitled “Green Jobs in Indonesia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Outlook” with the aim of providing an overview of green jobs from practitioners in various fields. 

Previously, a mini survey to gain the perception of young people about green jobs was conducted. The survey, which attracted around 200 respondents, revealed one interesting finding, namely that more than 90% of respondents stated that they would prefer companies that have concern on environmental issues.

Desi Ayu Pirmasari, a researcher at the University of Leeds, England, stated that green jobs have a wide sector. “Green jobs have a very broad spectrum, not limited to specific sectors such as energy. For example, when civil servants make greener city plans, procurement staff who consider the carbon footprint in the procurement of goods. Lawyers can also become green jobs if they help others to breathe fresh air and fight for climate change.”

Desi’s opinion is agreed by Julius Christian, a researcher on clean fuels at IESR, with the trend of using renewable energy that is getting wider. According to him, currently there are so many sectors that need workers who understand sustainability, SDGs, and the environment concepts in general.

“In the energy sector only, in the next 5-10 years renewable energy will be more competitive with fossil energy, so the energy transition is inevitable. From the IESR study on Deep Decarbonization itself, there will be around 3.2 million new jobs. Of course, this is a big opportunity and must be prepared from now, “explained Julius.

Preparation of human resources and financial resources is very important, because the development of technology moves so fast requires qualified human resources and adequate financial support.

“So if in the future we want to take advantage of this (green jobs) opportunity, for example making a solar panel manufacturing plant in Indonesia, we must act quickly. We have to consider the full lifecycle of everything, from the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process to use, and the results are not instant. We can only see (the results) in the next 10 years for instance,” said Noor Titan Putri, post-doctoral researcher, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Germany.

Jonathan Davy, founder and CEO of Ecoxyztem Venture Builder, said that many entrepreneurs are starting to invest in the green jobs sector. The challenge of developing an environmentally friendly business in Indonesia lies in the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies.

“Technology adoption must meet three categories, i.e desirability (whether the market wants to use it), viability (whether technology is needed), and feasibility (whether the business is possible to run). Currently, we are still heavily regulated so that some business processes are still locked,” explained Jonathan.

Jonathan also highlighted the development of human resources, which he said needed to shift the mindset from how many jobs could absorb workers to how many people could create jobs.

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