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The road to a net-zero economy requires building girls’ green skills for green jobs


Editor’s Note: This analysis marks the second blog in a series based on the report ” A new green learning agenda: Approaches to quality education for climate action .”

On January 27, President Biden signed an historic executive order that put tackling the climate crisis at the top of both domestic and foreign policy. Key among its goals is to “create well-paying union jobs to build a modern and sustainable infrastructure, deliver an equitable, clean energy future, and put the United States on a path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.”

Yet, there is a blind spot in this vision. Without a plan to address educational inequalities for girls, focusing solely on green jobs will not achieve an equitable path to a net-zero future.

For starters, in 2018, women in the U.S . earned just 36 percent of bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields of study, while women of color merely earned 14 percent. STEM fields are where many green jobs in sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, low-carbon manufacturing, and green construction are expected to emerge.

Yet girls and women will miss their opportunity to participate because they will have missed the opportunity to build requisite skills, capital, and […]

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