What could education, jobs and work look like across Wales by 2035? A Swansea academic is inviting contributions to help the work of an expert group which is aiming to bring forward the target date for Wales to reach net zero from 2050 to 2035.
Dr Jennifer Rudd is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Management at Swansea University and a member of the Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group.
The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru set up the independent Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group as concern over the climate crisis grows. The group, led by former Environment Minister Jane Davidson, is made up of 25 independent, unpaid members.
The group is exploring ways to speed up the delivery of Wales’ climate change commitments. They have divided up their work into five challenge areas, such as food and energy security, rural livelihoods and economic opportunities.
Across all areas, the group have been looking for views, ideas and experiences to help them tackle the major challenges facing Welsh policymakers.
Now the spotlight is on the education, jobs and work area, which is co-chaired by Dr Rudd and Ben Rawlence, Director of Black Mountains College in Brecon.
Dr Jennifer Rudd explained the work of the group and what contributions they were looking for:
“We are examining how education, jobs and work could look in Wales in 2035. We want to hear ideas and experiences on how Wales could become net zero in this area by that date. We’re looking for relevant views, case studies and evidence.
We’re inviting anyone working in the field to contribute: people working in areas like just transition, green skills, climate change or environmental education, universal basic income and the green transition.
We are becoming more aware of the climate crisis and what it means for us, but societal, political and economic inertia prevails. The Net Zero Group exists to imagine the future by pushing the art of the possible.
Reaching net zero in education and skills is different to any of the other challenges launched so far and goes beyond carbon counting or new infrastructure. Through this challenge we have the opportunity to shape the minds of those who will shape the future, not just through the new Curriculum for Wales but also by thinking about re-training and upskilling the current work force to align with a just transition.”
Ben Rawlence, Director of Black Mountains College and member of the Challenge Group said:
“Public education is an essential cross-cutting challenge in achieving net zero or any large-scale social transformation; if people can understand the crisis then they can understand the opportunity for a just transition for all to a more sustainable and resilient Wales.”
The Net Zero group’s five challenge areas are:
- How could Wales feed itself by 2035?
- How could Wales meet energy needs by 2035 whilst phasing out fossil fuels?
- How could people and places be connected across Wales by 2035?
- What could education, jobs and work, look like across Wales by 2035?
- How could Wales heat and build homes and workplaces by 2035?
The work of the Wales NetZero2035 group is scheduled to run until summer 2024.