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Half of young people want green jobs finds survey on Earth Overshoot Day

The Orchestra for the Earth performs by wind turbines at Delabole wind farm. Image: Emily Whitfield-Wicks.

The Orchestra for the Earth performs by wind turbines at Delabole wind farm. Image: Emily Whitfield-Wicks.

Half of young people what jobs that protect the planet, according to a new survey conducted to coincide with Earth Overshoot Day.

Of the 1,000 people aged 18 to 34, 45% consider sustainable sectors to offer a more secure career path according to the survey commissioned by Good Energy.

The majority (57%) would prefer to work for an environmentally sustainable business, while 49% worry about the impact of COVID-19 on their career path. A green recovery could help support jobs going forwards though, with the Local Government Association revealing almost 700,000 new jobs could be created by 2030 and a further 488,000 by 2050 given the right support.

Green jobs, including those in renewable energy, are becoming increasingly attractive, ranking 10% more attractive than being a social media influencer and 8% more attractive than working in retail. While working in the fossil fuel sector is the least attractive sector, with just 6% of those surveyed saying they would like a career in it.

Earth Overshoot Day is when humanity’s consumption of natural resources exceeds what the planets ecosystems can renew in a year, and falls on 22 August in 2020. This is three weeks later than in 2019, largely due to the impact of COVID-19 driving down demand. In the energy sector, we saw this with coal being pushed off of the grid for months thanks to low demand and surging renewables.

Juliet Davenport, founder of Good Energy, said: “Earth Overshoot Day reminds us all that we are using more resources than our planet can afford to give. On this day, we want to highlight what the transition to a green economy would mean for future generations.

“Young people understand the volatile position we are in and want Government and business to act so that we move the date back before it is too late. We owe it to future generations to prioritise a green recovery today. For better jobs, greener lives and a more hopeful future.”

To mark Earth Overshoot Day and emphasis the desire from young people for more action to protect the planet and support green jobs, a collection of young musicians performed by wind turbines at Delabole wind farm in North Cornwall, which was the UK’s first wind farm, built in 1991.

The Orchestra for the Earth, as the group is called, performed Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 for winds in B-flat major.

Lorraine Hart, climate activist and musician in the Orchestra for the Earth, commented: “I’m frightened for the future of our planet and the career prospects for my generation coming out of this pandemic. We are here today to urge the government to act and highlighted the incredible power and opportunity that renewable energy brings.”

Over half of young people (58%) think climate breakdown is the next big crisis, but only 29% are aware of what Earth Overshoot Day is the survey found.


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