Earth Overshoot day sees youth demanding green jobs

climate commitments
Image credit: Pixabay

To mark Earth Overshoot Day on 22 August, renewable energy company, Good Energy, has partnered with the Orchestra for the Earth to raise awareness of young people’s desire to protect the planet and work in the green economy.

Earth Overshoot Day is when humanity’s demand on nature exceeds what the earth’s ecosystems can renew in a year. This year, the date has been shifted later by three weeks due to the coronavirus decreasing humanity’s carbon footprint – an achievement in response to the crisis, rather than by design.

The collaboration between UK based organisations Good Energy and Orchestra for the Earth has seen young climate activist musicians perform with wind instruments in front of wind turbines at Delabole wind farm in North Cornwall, which was the UK’s first wind farm, built in 1991.

Photo credit: Emily Whitfield-Wicks/PA Wire

The collaboration also saw a new survey commissioned by Good Energy of over 1,000 young people aged 18 ” 34, has found that half (50%) of young Brits want a job that helps protect the planet, and 45% consider sustainable sectors to offer a more secure career path than those that pollute the environment.

Further survey findings include:

  • 57% of young people would prefer to work for environmentally sustainable business;
  • 49% worry about their future career following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • 58% of young people think that climate breakdown is our next big global crisis after COVID-19 ;
  • 29% understand what Earth Overshoot Day is;
  • Regarding green jobs, sustainability and renewable energy proved to be a more attractive sector for a future career than a job as a social media influencer (10%) or in retail (8%);
  • The fossil fuels industry was the least attractive sector to young people, with just 6% saying they would like a career in it.

The call to action comes at a time when climate change has been identified by the Met Office to be driving the UK’s recent extreme weather events, and the Local Government Association has revealed that the UK could create almost 700,000 new green jobs by 2030, and a further 488,000 by 2050, with the right support.

Juliet Davenport, climate scientist and founder of Good Energy, states: “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.”

Measure your own ecological footprint

Lorraine Hart, a 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.”

Rhiannon Barriball, recent geography graduate and Good Energy Clean Energy Specialist, said: “If I had a choice of working for two companies that did the same thing but one made an effort not to cause damage to the environment then why wouldn’t I choose to work for them? I’m really proud to say that I work for a company that considers its environmental impact and works to improve it.”

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