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EPI
Overview

A push to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 will require more than increasing our ambition around green infrastructure and green financing. It will require a workforce that has the appropriate skills capable of delivering on the clean energy transition.  The path forward will require an ongoing dialogue with workers and communities affected by the transition to a low carbon future. It will also require working with historically disadvantaged communities to avoid perpetuating instances of environmental and structural racism. The energy transition needs be inclusive by design – creating spaces for marginalized and vulnerable individuals to shape the vision for a clean energy future. These discussions will shape how industry and government respond to the needs of workers and communities, and how we work together to achieve a just and equitable transition – improving access to the tools for success, including opportunities for training and reskilling to empower everyone to succeed.

In 2021, Canada, the U.S. and the European Commission (Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion) launched a new Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) initiative entitled “Empowering People: Advancing Skills and Inclusivity for a Just Clean Energy Transition”. This initiative seeks to highlight the socio-economic elements of the energy transition that relate to empowering people and promoting just and equitable transitions:  skills, inclusivity and workforce development. This is an area of work that is currently not being adequately addressed by the technology-oriented nature of many CEM initiatives and campaigns. Building a diverse and inclusive workforce of tomorrow is critical to accelerating the push to a carbon neutral future – one that leaves no one behind.

Goals

This Initiative seeks to convene a dialogue that expands the conversation taking place within existing CEM initiatives and to develop solutions relevant to those initiatives’ goals. It will do so by bringing together the right people and partners to share best practices between CEM members, companies and partner organizations. This includes providing a platform for underrepresented and marginalized voices – to bring forward novel approaches and diverse perspectives needed to move the needle on achieving a just and equitable transition for a clean energy future.

The Empowering People Initiative will work with existing CEM initiatives in a collaborative spirit – acting as a horizontal initiative. It will build on and complement existing CEM work streams that already promote equity and inclusivity, such as the Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) initiative and the Equal by 30 Campaign, while leveraging other technology-oriented CEM initiatives that could benefit from exploring skills, workforce, and inclusivity issues.

The initiative seeks to:

  • Share lessons on needed and successful policies that support just clean energy transitions;
  • Highlight different policy mixes to support workers and communities with models that meet the unique needs and circumstances of different member countries, industrial sectors and stakeholder communities;
  • Advocate for diversity and inclusiveness in HR policies, working conditions and corporate governance; address the needs of youth, gender equality, including pay equity, retention of diverse staff, the promotion of inclusive culture, among other measures that would serve to marshal and develop all available talent to strengthen the global energy sector.
Key Activities
  • Collaboration: The Empowering People Initiative is pleased to announce a pilot project with International Smart Grids Action Network (ISGAN). We will be working together to develop a new award theme for the 2022 ISGAN Award of Excellence on “Smart Grid Workforce Development for an Inclusive Energy Transition.” More details to come in Fall 2021.
  • Dialogue: The Empowering People Initiative plans to initiate a dialogue with existing CEM initiatives to learn more about their area of work, their ongoing activities, and to explore potential areas for collaboration. Early engagement will take the form of informal consultations and surveys in the months leading up to CEM13.
  • Knowledge Sharing: The Empowering People Initiative plans to leverage internal and external collaborations to create a platform for sharing best practices across the low carbon energy sector. Input from the survey of existing CEM initiatives could inform the creation of a dashboard ahead of CEM13 (TBC).  
Countries
Canada
Canada
Chile
Chile
Denmark
Denmark
European Commission
European Commission
United States
United States
Operating Agent

Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada
Partners

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)