Linking Training and Migration for the Green Transition
More than 80 countries have committed to substantially reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in the next few decades, requiring what is known as a green transition. Yet the lack of skilled manpower to do so is rarely discussed. Our initiative combines research and policy outreach to understand whether a creative combination of training and migration could be used to support the green transition, facilitating development and reducing carbon emissions.

There are many constraints to the green transition—a lack of climate finance, political will, and technology—yet the lack of skilled manpower is rarely discussed. International bodies have admitted that shortages of skilled labor are already translating into project delays and impacting investment decisions. No country currently has enough domestic talent to support the green transition, and current training pipelines are not being scaled up quickly enough to meet agreed upon targets.

Skilled migration is one option, but it would merely move the problem around. The world needs an increase in the global stock of workers skilled in things like heat pump installation and solar panel engineering if we are to have a chance of reducing carbon emissions. To do that, we need to pair increased skilled migration with “compensation” to their country of origin to support domestic talent pipelines.

Doing so would provide multiple benefits. Trainees would get access to better pay and opportunities. Countries of destination would receive the skills they need to mitigate climate change and meet net-zero commitments. Countries of origin would gain an increasing green skills base, making them more attractive to foreign direct investment, and remittance flows. All countries, whether participating or not, would benefit from a more stable climate.

Our initiative will explore what is meant by “green skills”, where they are needed, who could provide them, and how creatively combining training and migration could help. We will bring together key actors in this space—such as those in the migration, education, and climate communities—to understand the constraints to such an approach and work to overcome them.

Blogs

  • Linking Migration and Training to Meet the Green Transition
    Over the coming decades, the world must decarbonise at an unprecedented speed. Yet deploying ‘green’ technologies cannot be done w...
  • How Can Labor Migration Help the US Green Transition?
    The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law last year, will provide the United States with $370 billion in direct investme...
  • How Can Labour Migration Help the UK’s Green Transition?
    Green-skilled labour migration could support the green transition, and yield major benefits for both development and carbon emissi...
  • The Billion Dollar Benefits of Expanded Green-Skilled Migration
    This blog outlines the potential impacts on both earnings and carbon emissions from expanding skilled migration to support the gre...

Publications

  • Skill Needs for the Global Green Transition
    If green transition targets are to be met, migration is likely to be needed as a complement to domestic training and reskilling. G...

Events

The Workforce for the Future
Over the coming decades, humanity must reduce its emissions at an unprecedented pace. This requires the rapid deployment of low-carbon –‘green’— technologies, such as solar photovo...
  • The Workforce for the Future
    Over the coming decades, humanity must reduce its emissions at an unprecedented pace. This requires the rapid deployment of low-ca...

Contact

For more information, contact shuckstep@cgdev.org

Contact

For more information, contact shuckstep@cgdev.org

Experts

Charles Kenny
Charles Kenny is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. His current work focuses on global economic prospects, gender and development, and development finance. He is...
Helen Dempster
Helen Dempster is a policy fellow and assistant director for the Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy Program at the Center for Global Development. Prior to joining CGD...
Samuel Huckstep
Sam Huckstep is a research associate working with Helen Dempster within the Migration, Displacement and Humanitarian Policy programme, with a particular focus on the relationship b...

Experts

  • Charles Kenny
    Charles Kenny is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. His current work focuses on global economic prospects, gender and development, and development finance. He is...
  • Helen Dempster
    Helen Dempster is a policy fellow and assistant director for the Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy Program at the Center for Global Development. Prior to joining CGD...
  • Samuel Huckstep
    Sam Huckstep is a research associate working with Helen Dempster within the Migration, Displacement and Humanitarian Policy programme, with a particular focus on the relationship b...

Acknowledgments

CGD would like to acknowledge the generous support and engagement of Robert Bosch Stiftung.