Ecological transition and jobs: accelerating green local economies

Looking back on the latest webinar of the Sufficient Cities series







On November 8th, Energy Cities welcomed Eddy Adams, URBACT Programme Level Expert, UIA Expert and Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) Adviser, and Hayat Boaira, Director of the Zero Unemployed Territories project in Villeurbanne for our 3rd webinar of the “Sufficient Cities” series. The topic of this episode was “Ecological transition and jobs: accelerating green local economies”. Zero Unemployed Territories aims at achieving the right of employment to every citizen, especially in deprived neighbourhoods. It implements a non-selective hiring initiative and job trainings locally.

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Working on the narratives around green jobs

Defining and anticipating changes in jobs and training is essential to the implementation of the transition. Green jobs are significantly reducing the negative impact of economic activity on the environment and ultimately ensure the sustainability of businesses and economies in the long term but various questions remain around the matter.

Both speakers elaborated on the narratives around green and meaningful jobs and on how to define and frame these societal changes. The discussion led to the relevance of identifying the most vulnerable people, adapting trainings to the skills required, and of co-constructing these policies with the actors of the territory at the table.

The role of trade unions

In the second part of the webinar, the speakers discussed the significant role of trade unions, which may have an ambivalent position on the need for ecological transition in all sectors, but also on the protection of workers and their rights. Creating green unions goes hand in hand with developing green jobs.

Additional issues pertain skills and qualifications for green jobs: local skills mismatches, geographical hiring and changes in curriculum and studies.

The Zero Unemployed Territories Project

The Zero Unemployed Territories initiative (TZC) launched by the French city of Villeurbanne was presented during the webinar. They are betting on local consensus, volunteering and cooperation to reduce unemployment in the poorest neighbourhoods. This initiative reinforces the idea that local authorities have a key role in these kinds of co-participatory projects to involve local actors in these initiatives with innovative tools and incentives.

Eddy and Hayat also discussed how to scale up, evaluate local policies and adapt them to other contexts. Villeurbanne is now launching the TZC initiative in a second district of the city, with the lessons learnt from the first experiment.

Want to learn more? Check the webinar recording below