The young generation is up in arms against what they call a state-sanctioned degradation of the future of the planet. Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, the region known as Cascadia took a pledge to drastically slash emission levels of greenhouse gases by 2020. This was even though their regions had all the resources and the solutions needed to make it succeed. But Cascadia remains rightly suited for a net-zero carbon emission economy that could create a slew of ecofriendly jobs.
The failure to cut emissions has led to an assertion by Governor Jay Inslee of Washington that the forest fires were in fact ‘climate fires.’ But citizens in all three regions have expressed their desire to move away from the use of fossil fuels.
While getting to zero is attainable, but some way off, an immediate beginning must e made to dramatically reduce the level of emissions of greenhouse gas. And that can only be achieved by moving away from the use of fossil fuels. The director of the Institute Sustainability of the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Dr. Jennie Moore says that this change would also lead to other changes, especially in the way the world works.
A groundbreaking study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has shown that progressing to a net-zero emission economy could create 15 million ecofriendly jobs in South America alone.
What sort of ecofriendly jobs would this new economy bring to a region such as British Columbia, or for that matter, Cascadia, once the world shifts to a net-zero emission economy? We could look at them from a perspective of the capabilities we employ, our hands, our heads, and our heart. And we came up with these three broad categories that would be at the forefront of ecofriendly jobs in a new economy.
Categories Of Ecofriendly Jobs Anticipated To Flourish In A Zero-Emission Scenario
It will be an ongoing combination of jobs for hands, heads, and hearts. While there will always be jobs for people willing to roll up their sleeves, ecofriendly jobs will also need a number of people, the engineers, and accountants, the number of crunchers.
And finally, there will be jobs for the hearts, people who have a wish to transform the way we live life and make it better. This is how ecofriendly jobs in a net-zero emission economy could look like.
The Power Of The Hands
The first sector that could be affected would be how we build our homes. The piece-by-piece construction at sites is going to see a major shift. The shift will be from individual efforts to assembly line types of construction which can lead to better management of quality, cost, and wastage.
Every piece could be pre-fabricated in factories and shipped directly to the site, creating a giant piece of Lego. Small branches could be used to make up layers of material that could be stronger than concrete.
This pre-fabricated use of waste wood could be used for both residential and commercial use’ and would also create a ready industry that relied on sustainable use of lumber. This would create many ecofriendly jobs.
So while there will be ecofriendly jobs for passive housing projects which would reduce levels of emission, the next logical step would be creating active houses. Such houses would have a net positive outcome on the people and the environment.
Another place for ecofriendly jobs in the home construction sector is retrofitting jobs. Existing houses that don’t match up to exacting standards could be retrofitted to improve their energy use. 2 million jobs are expected in this sector.
After cars, even ships could be fitted with batteries, as has been mandated in Scandinavia, where ships have to rely on alternative sources of energy.
Another area opening out could be for electrical vehicles technicians. But the next step would mean al minimal use of transport.
The Use Of Our Heads
We need to move on from all types of energy we now use and that means using our intelligence to harness other means of energy. Especially waste, of which we will never have any shortage. The industry for fuel derived from waste will be the fastest-growing one.
Vancouver already uses energy generated from local sewage to heat 5.75 million square feet (534,000 square meters) of commercial, institutional, and residential space.
For all these figures, somebody has to do the number crunching. Mapping emissions and subsequently coming up with solutions to reduce them will require people good with numbers, and passionate about the environment.
Mapping emission levels for residential areas, companies, and vehicles will be much in need soon.
Leading With Our Hearts For EcoFriendly Jobs
People with a heart that is receptive to new ideas and open to nature will have the pick of ecofriendly jobs in a very different scenario. In a world where living well would mean traveling less and living smart.
Also read: 9 Tips For The Eco-Friendly Grocery Shopper
We need to give back to nature what we have so far only taken. Re-wilding the surface of the planet would be a priority. Urbanization, agriculture, and logging have taken up 70% of the planet and only 30% are left as wilderness. Native plants and animals have to take over their habitat. Restoring the severely damaged ecology will take a thorough understanding of the impact that human intervention has caused and how best it can be restored.
Producing food without harming the environment will become a priority. And they need to be close to human habitation. The concept of agroecology farming will be among the in-demand ecofriendly jobs. An expert would know the relationship between humans and plants, animals, and the environment.
One of the immediate changes necessary is to slash our consumption and cut down on waste generation. To achieve our energy use by 90%, we need to turn the waste generation system into an economic tool. Waste from one sector becomes fuel for another. For instance, a company in Surrey, British Columbia, is breaking down old lithium batteries and recovering lithium, magnesium, nickel, cobalt, and aluminum.
Getting to a zero-carbon emission world will lead to the creation of a host of ecofriendly jobs that will be able to face up to the fresh challenges expected in the coming years. It will mean a radically new skill set.