Around the world, climate change is redefining the future of work. In the United States alone, the number of climate-related jobs is already skyrocketing—and yet domestic K–20 education, training, and reskilling systems are not keeping pace with this transformation. Without an urgent shift in workforce development to address the growing gap, we risk holding future Americans back from a chance to thrive and to play a role in driving a successful global climate transition.
On February 7–8, 2024, EDC will lead Preparing a Green and Blue Workforce, a national summit to engage cross-sector leaders in responding to this rapidly escalating workforce crisis.
Hosted at EDC’s office in Washington, D.C., the summit will feature keynote speaker Ani Dasgupta, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Ares Charitable Foundation, and Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.
The summit is a key part of EDC’s global Skills for a Green Future initiative, recently spotlighted at COP28 in Dubai, which aims to spur investment and action in scaling sustainable and inclusive jobs in the green and blue economies.
“Addressing climate change will require the biggest socioeconomic and societal shifts that humans have ever gone through. Our energy systems will be turned upside down. So too, the way we design our cities, manage our food system, travel, play, and consume. It’s exciting, and life could improve significantly, but we’re not well-prepared for this change,” says Liesbet Steer, president and CEO of EDC.
“While money is often seen as the big obstacle, we spend too little time addressing the preparation of people,” Steer notes. “We must invest in equipping people with the skills necessary for these shifts. EDC is honored to host this convening to discuss concrete actions to ensure the U.S. can lead the way.”
During the Washington, D.C. event, economists, scientists, K–12 formal and informal education leaders, industry leaders, community leaders, government leaders, and philanthropic leaders will collaboratively identify strategies to create a strong and diverse climate- and sustainability-focused workforce.
“We deeply value the leaders who will share their expertise at the summit,” says Andrés Henríquez, EDC director of STEM education strategy. “Coming together across disciplinary divides will create rich conversations and cross-fertilization of ideas and experiences to fuel new thinking and action.”
Participants and attendees of the summit’s panels will focus on the following topics:
- Future jobs and skills for the green and blue economies
- Climate change and education
- Equity in the climate workforce
- Public agencies and the policy context
- Private funding and current initiatives
For more information, explore the summit website and view the agenda. If you have questions, please contact our team.