A thoughtful new contribution to the “green jobs” debate comes in Re-defining Green Jobs for a Sustainable Economy , released by The Century Foundation, in cooperation with Data for Progress, on December 2. Co-author Greg Carlock is currently Senior Fellow and Research Director for Climate at Data for Progress, and was one of the authors of the original visioning document A Green New Deal , published in 2018 and leading to the current U.S. movement launched by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Data for Progress continues to monitor public opinion and publish important contributions to the Green New Deal debate – in November, exploring the issue of a Green New Deal for Public Housing.
Re-defining Green Jobs for a Sustainable Economy outlines an interesting history of the “green jobs” definition and measurement in the U.S., but the main purpose of the report is to propose an expanded definition and framework of green jobs which would encompass the principles of equity and sustainability. Ultimately, the report recommends how an expanded definition can be integrated into U.S. public policy.
Perhaps most importantly, Re-defining Green Jobs for a Sustainable Economy focuses in detail on demonstrating why health care and educational workers should be considered as part of the green workforce, stating that including them in the green workforce definition “would go a long way toward gender and racial equity, and toward ensuring all workers green, family-sustaining jobs.”
An expanded definition of a green job, from the report:
“A green job should refer to any position that is part of the sustainability workforce: a job that contributes to preserving or enhancing the well-being, culture, and governance of both current and future generations, as well as regenerating the natural resources and ecosystems upon which they rely. And in order for green jobs themselves to be sustainable, they need to be good, living-wage jobs…. These green job occupations stand in contrast to work—even decent-paying work—in industries that result in the depletion or degradation of ecological systems and the social, cultural, and political institutions that support them.”
Alternatives Journal in October published a special issue addressing environmental education. The fifteenth annual Environmental Education Guide helps students heading to postsecondary education to identify and compare the 700 interdisciplinary programs available in 120 Canadian universities and community colleges.
Three accompanying articles emphasize the importance of interdisciplinary studies: “Academic Evolution: Innovation knows no Boundaries”, profiles the work of Dr. James Orbinski, who leads research on global health and climate change as the Research Chair in Global Health at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and Tim Kruger, who is the Coordinator of the Geoengineering Program at the Martin Oxford School at University of Oxford, and one of the authors of the Oxford Principles.
A quote from Kruger sums up the point of the article: “Climate change presents systems problems, involving multiple, complex mechanisms…What is left now, are those problems which are not amenable to being solved by a single disciplinary approach.” “The Genius of the Generalist”, describes the educational paths of three graduate students- two of whom have Masters of Environmental Studies degrees from York University in Toronto and “Meet 6 Environmental Grads” profiles careers after graduation from various environmental programmes in Canada, and one in Freiberg, Germany.
For students heading for an MBA, Corporate Knights magazine released its annual guide to Sustainable MBA programs around the world in October. As in past years, York University’s Schulich School of Business ranked first, followed closely by the Sauder School of Business at University of British Columbia.
And two new online initiatives to promote climate change literacy and climate justice emerged from British Columbia in October. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation jointly created free classroom-ready materials designed for students in grades 8 to 12. Eight modules explore climate justice within the context of B.C.’s communities, history, economy and ecology. On October 28th the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions at the University of Victoria, launched “B.C Climate Impacts & Adaptation”, an interactive online module free to anyone interested in expanding their climate literacy. At the same time, PICS updated the content of the educational section of their website, which houses other modules and mini-lessons.