Is sustainability a viable career in India?

By Pallavi Pant of  India Carbon Outlook.com 

In this article, the author talks about the potential of sustainability as a career in India, given the various policies and initiatives being taken up by the government and corporates to move towards a low carbon economy.

The concept of sustainable development, first introduced in 1987, has since been widely adopted by governments and businesses alike in a quest for a cleaner and healthier environment. Recent reports on the state of the environment in general, and global threats due to climate change, in particular have triggered a series of policy actions both at international and national levels. As a result, there has been a strong international push towards adoption of environmentally sustainable processes. Green business, particularly in the energy sector, is increasingly attracting attention from young entrepreneurs as well as venture capitalists, and there is a growing trend of new companies/ consultancies focused on niche areas such as renewable energy, building efficiency etc. At the same time, the established companies are making a move towards greener and more energy, resource and carbon-efficient systems and processes, and thus, there is an all-round demand for appropriately trained professionals. In order to bring about the transition to a low-carbon economy, there is a need for skilled professionals with the right training to fill positions for the new vocations collectively being described as green jobs.  A surge in such jobs has been witnessed as a result of internationally agreed goals focused on climate adaptation and mitigation.

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) defines green jobs as positions in agriculture, manufacturing, installation, construction and maintenance as well as scientific and technical, administrative and service-related activities that contribute substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality .

Key sectors under the green jobs segment include renewable and alternate energy, energy efficiency in buildings, transport and infrastructure, and agriculture and forestry. Akin to the international trends, India is also witnessing an increased demand for workers trained and skilled in the different facets of environment.

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