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COP28: Global effort launched to bridge skills gap in RE sector

The urgent need for a just transition to mitigate the climate crisis had been a prevailing theme at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai. Against the backdrop of a growing skills gap to enable this transition, the Danish government announced during the climate summit that it will look positively on future collaboration with the Philippine government on the new JOBS4RE initiative aimed to accelerate the upskilling and reskilling of a global workforce for the renewable energy industry.

The initiative was announced last December 5 at a ministerial event organized by the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), co-founded by Denmark, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

“While it is positive that an increasing number of offshore wind and other renewable energy projects are being planned all over the world, it becomes clear that the growing lack of skilled workers hampers the faster deployment of projects,” said Denmark Climate Change Ambassador Tomas Anker Christensen.

At its core, JOBS4RE seeks to create a flexible and globally capable renewable energy labor pool by defining training standards initially for the wind industry, with the view of expanding to the solar industry later on.

Central to the initiative is scalability, aligning the renewable energy industry's needs with ongoing skills development efforts by governments, international organizations, and technical schools.

The initiative will seek to build upon existing wind industry standard certification schemes, such as that of the Global Wind Organisation (GWO), ensuring that high-priority job roles are aligned with training standards and that proof of qualifications is internationally recognized.

The Philippines, in particular, known to be home to millions of skilled workers, has expressed support for the initiative, with the participation of government representatives and local industry players in the early stages of consultations spearheaded by the Danish Embassy in Manila.

The initiative also has the potential to support a just energy transition by providing capacity-building options for professionals transitioning from the fossil fuel industries to the renewable energy sector.

According to a forecast by the Boston Consulting Group by 2030, there will be a global shortage of 7 million skilled workers for the necessary climate and energy projects, which if delayed, can could lead to a global temperature increase of 0.1°Celsius.

Beyond the environmental agenda, JOBS4RE can also create economic opportunities especially for countries that deploy skilled workforce to the global market.

“JOBS4RE can create invaluable opportunities. But at the heart of this initiative is the drive to empower people for a just transition,” said Danish Ambassador to the Philippines Franz-Michael Mellbin.

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