19 Mar 2024, 13:16
Jack McGovan

Adapting Germany to climate change requires 57,000 extra jobs by 2040 - report

Clean Energy Wire

Adapting Germany to the effects of climate change will create tens of thousands of extra jobs within 15 years, according to a report by the German environment agency (UBA). "In 2040, an increase in labour demand of around 57,000 workers is expected in the climate adaptation scenario compared to the reference scenario," the report said. The agency's calculations are based on four assumptions about what climate adaptation implies: more green spaces and better water management in cities; heat-related loss of working hours; increased irrigation in agriculture and conservation of forestry; and building renovations in public facilities. Although these changes would only be the first step to climate adaptation in Germany, and therefore they’re not comprehensive, they signal a change in the labour market, according to UBA. Above all, the report emphasises that climate adaption can only take place if a sufficient labour force with the necessary skills is available.

"The more climate change is felt in Germany, the more important measures to adapt to the unavoidable consequences of climate change become," the report states, adding that the skills requirements in the affected occupations are set to change. Around one in six of all occupation groups will be particularly affected by the demands of climate adaptation, and a third of these are set to face skill shortages by 2040, in particular "construction and finishing trades" and "medical and non-medical healthcare professions," the report said.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently published a comprehensive report on the climate risks Europe faces, warning that many risks could become catastrophic without immediate action and highlighting that the effects of climate change are currently outpacing the implementation of climate mitigation and adaptation measures. While the EU is an adaptation pioneer in many respects, it still struggles to integrate climate adaptation into everyday decision-making at all levels.

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