Experts from international organisations including ILO, Unesco, Unitar, the World Bank and universities, as well as country delegates, met at the 2nd Cedefop/OECD Green skills forum in Paris, on 14 February, to discuss how environmental policies can successfully be implemented in combination with policies for job creation and social inclusion.

The forum was opened by OECD Deputy Secretary-General Rintaro Tamaki. He underlined that ‘we need to share experience and cooperate in the creation of knowledge as we move from a high-carbon to a low-carbon society.’

Cedefop Deputy Director Christian Lettmayr stressed the pivotal role of the European Union (EU) in sustainable development. ‘The EU has committed itself to ambitious targets and should become a role model for emerging countries,’ he said.

Mr Lettmayr pointed out that the combination of greener jobs and more jobs is also about better-quality jobs: ‘Even though a lot of progress, technically and politically, has been made, environmental policies are still driven by policy and regulation rather than market demand. We have not yet reached the tipping point from which on green will be the new mainstream. Only then will we see substantial creation of new greener jobs, and possession of green skills will be a requirement in many professions and honoured by employers.’

Despite slow progress so far, experts remain confident that greening trends will eventually create new jobs as the ad hoc poll organised by Robert Strauss, European Commission DG Employment, at the skills forum confirmed.