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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

IRENA Youth: Right skill set is vital to enable the clean energy transition

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The right skill set is vital to enable the clean energy transition, according to Jean-François Gagné, the head of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Secretariat, talking on eve the 14th Assembly of International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) on Monday at the Youth Summit.

Irena’s14th Assembly kicks off tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, from 17-18 April 2024.

The youth have a critical role to play across many aspects of the energy transition, including employment, entrepreneurship, digitalisation, education, and advocacy.

Gagné said, “ Our job is to understand what everyone has set as ambitions and then develop the tools to be able to implement actions to support those ambitions.”

In order to do that, he said, one needed to build coalitions and alliances that could take down barriers to achieving the right ambitions.

“This is where we need all types of societies, all important stakeholders to be at the core of that discussion. We have been engaging with different energy sectors, with the public and private government, academia, but also with all sectors of society,” he added.

CEM worked a lot on skills and making sure that the right skill sets were available to enable the clean energy transition.

“We have a career map specifically designed for you to understand where the opportunities lie. And this is how we tried to put in the infrastructure for stakeholders to be able to collaborate, to be able to work with everybody who hasn’t unlocked this transition, and be able to influence where things go,” he added.

Gagné said,“ You can’t predict the future. But at the same time you can’t wait for the future. You need to be smart in how you understand today. And this is by exchanging information and be able then to make decisions. You need to build in that resilience because you never know what is actually going to happen.”

He added that CEM wanted to develop a network of educators to create (energy skills) curricula so that when they were made available, they could be easily available to other institutions.

“We are working with LinkedIn to understand that entire career path, and map the skills that we can better tailor to the curriculum to the the most effective workforce in the future.

Gauri Singh, the Deputy Director-General of Irena, said,“ Our focus is to empower the youth with the skills, the knowledge and the resources.”

She said looking at the energy transition space, it was not just about renewables, it had now become an economy-wide phenomena, which meant that there were a number of opportunities that were opening up and those were the types of opportunities that Irena wanted people to be aware of.

Wundolo Fantina, a youth delegate, said, “We are here to learn. We’re here to share experiences and to engage. So when we go back, we can share renewable solutions, engage other young people in our community and share the lessons we have learnt.”

Under the theme “Outcome of COP28: Infrastructure, Policies, and Skills for Tripling Renewables and Accelerating the Energy Transition”, the 2024 Assembly will explore priorities for the energy transition and immediate steps to accelerate progress towards tripling renewable power capacity to at least 11 terawatts (TW) by 2030.

The meetings, presided over by Rwanda, will gather more than 1 300 participants from 144 countries, including ministers, industry leaders, and CEOs to chart a strategic way forward across countries, regions, and the world, in light of the findings of the first Global Stocktake at COP28.


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