Climate Change, Urbanization As labour shortages hamper climate action, NYC proposes a solution

July 13, 2021
By Jesse M. Keenan | Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Most of the people running climate change policy and action in the U.S. government are longstanding federal employees who have been reassigned from their normal day jobs. The upside is that the federal government benefits from seasoned public servants who know the ins and outs of government.

But, it also leaves home agencies short-staffed to do the ground work necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

Part of the problem is that the Trump administration pushed out many senior public servants with expertise in environmental and climate issues. However, the more immediate challenge is a lack of job candidates with the training and skills necessary to do the work necessary to push forward the U.S.’s renewed commitment for climate action. 

The government needs experts—in dozens of job categories—with a working knowledge of climate science, policy, and technology. We are not talking about the jobs that come with maintaining wind turbines and building electric vehicles—we are talking about accountants, nurses and vehicle mechanics. 

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