November 29, 2023

EDC to Join Global Leaders at COP28, Call for Focus on Youth Education and Green Skills

COP 28 Dubai, UAE

EDC is honored to join alongside partners and peers at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, November 30th through December 12th, and bring a much-needed focus on the intersection between education and climate change.

Join EDC leaders and experts on-the-ground at COP28, where we will share more on the opportunity to engage and equip young people today, for the jobs and green economy of tomorrow.

  • Boosting Green Skills to Accelerate the Climate Transition
    Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum
    Saturday, December 2
    12:30 – 1:30 pm
    Green Zone, EXPO City

    The climate transition will fundamentally alter the global labor market, creating and replacing millions of jobs, while a shortage of green skills threatens to bottleneck the pace of decarbonization. In this session, moderated by EDC CEO Liesbet Steer, leaders and change-makers will discuss what is required to create the pipeline of talent to deliver the transition, and how we can upskill and reskill the workforce to create a job-plentiful and equitable transition.

  • Moving from Ideas to Action: Five Localized Levers to Support Youth Education and Employment in the Green Economy
    RewirED Summit
    Friday, December 8
    12:00 – 12:45 PM
    Green Zone, Connect Conference Centre

    Education and training systems have the power to equip young people with the right knowledge and skills to fully engage in shaping an equitable transition to emerging green and blue economies. In this session at the first-ever global summit on climate and education, panelists will address the five major gaps holding youth back from education and employment opportunities in the future of work.
  • Education as a Catalyst for People and Planet: Rewiring Our Common Agenda
    RewirED Summit
    Friday, December 8
    12:30 – 1:30 pm
    Green Zone, Connect Conference Centre

    Learn more about the movement to ensure that education is central to climate action. The session will feature youth voices and enhance linkages with other sectors and highlight the need for deep and substantive cross-sectoral collaboration within and outside of education to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and equitable world.

  • Nourishing the Planet, Sustaining Futures: Reimagining School Meals for Planetary and Child Health
    School Meals Coalition Event
    Friday, December 8
    2:00 – 3:00 pm
    Blue Zone, Al-Waha Theatre Stage, World Climate Action Theatre

    School meals offer governments an effective and concrete platform to concurrently catalyze food systems transformation and climate action while strengthening and greening education systems. At this session, Kenya and the UAE, along with other key stakeholders, will shine an international spotlight on the issue, highlighting how school meals can accelerate action on both food systems transformation and climate action, and how governments and other actors can translate recommendations into action.

  • Skills for a Green Future: The Way Forward Towards a Just Transition
    Invite Only Breakfast Meeting with EDC, GIZ and NDC-Partnership
    Saturday, December 9
    8:00 – 9:30 am
    Hotel Avani, Dubai

    At this invite-only breakfast, representatives from governments, the private sector and civil society will follow up a dialogue launched at this year’s African Climate Summit (ACS), which issued a call to increase investments in skills through a Global Action Plan and Coalition that would bring together stakeholders from diverse sectors. This breakfast aims to discuss a concrete Action Agenda, which may include articulating a new narrative, leveraging financing instruments, or accelerating the adoption of solutions across a diverse range of countries.

  • The Big Opportunity: Skills Development for a Climate-Adapted and Green Economy
    NDC-Partnership Pavilion
    Monday, December 11
    12:30 – 1:30 pm
    Blue Zone, NDC-Partnership Pavilion | Livestream

    For us to achieve our Net Zero ambitions, we must first transform economies and the future of work. In this panel session, stakeholders will discuss opportunities to increase investments in skills development as a key strategy to create a green future. It will primarily focus on the perspective of countries already making progress in the implementation of skills strategies for the green transformation.

As world leaders gather and plan a course correction to achieve the climate goals adopted in the Paris Agreement, we will lead a call to expand investment and support action on skills development for a green future.

"Realizing our collective climate ambitions is only possible with a workforce ready to power the economy of the future. We must work together to prioritize green skills for young people.”
– Liesbet Steer

The green transformation urgently requires new skills and the reskilling of those in impacted industries and communities. A lack of a qualified workforce could not only significantly delay the implementation of climate and energy projects but also make them more costly, as the demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply.

Yet climate financing still focuses mainly on technologies and infrastructure, and too little on the development of skills necessary to build and maintain these. In fact, more than 60 percent of Nationally Determined Contributions lack implementation plans regarding skills development, and few education and training systems have been agile enough to adapt relevant skills training and workforce development. These challenges especially impact young people and women, as they are already more likely to be under-educated, unemployed, or underemployed in the informal economy.

To build the human capital necessary to drive the transition to a low-carbon and climate-adapted economy and realize the promise of green jobs for young people, we must address the disconnect between national climate policies, local labor market needs, and skills training and education systems.

For continued updates and insights from our team on the ground, please visit our COP28 hub at and follow our news on LinkedIn.