SDG 13

Tackling SDG 13: The Pivotal Role of Green Jobs

Fri Jul 07 2023

As the environmental crisis unfolds, the importance of fostering sustainability and green practices has become paramount. In light of this, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of the most critical being SDG 13: Climate Action.

Understanding, addressing, and combating climate change isn't just an environmental issue—it has broad social, economic, and political implications. Here's where green jobs come in. Businesses all over the world are transitioning to more sustainable practices, with green jobs being the fuel for this change. This article dives into the details of SDG 13 and the instrumental role green jobs play.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to SDG 13: Climate Action
  2. The Role of Green Jobs in SDG 13
  3. Real-Life Examples of Green Companies and Jobs
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs

Introduction to SDG 13: Climate Action

In the web of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, SDG 13 serves as the focal point of addressing one of the most pressing issues of our times: Climate Change. The goal has an explicit mission - "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts", a purpose that intricately weaves with the aspirations of SDG 7 on clean energy, further amplifying its relevance and significance.

Understanding the Goals and Targets of SDG 13

SDG 13 is not just a goal; it's a global rallying cry that seeks to balance the scale between human development and the wellbeing of our planet. Under this ambitious goal, five key targets have been earmarked for achievement by 2030, painting a broad canvas of climate action initiatives. These targets span from bolstering resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-induced disasters, weaving climate change measures into national strategies and policies, to enhancing knowledge and capacity to confront climate change. Each of these targets is associated with specific indicators, serving as a yardstick to gauge the progress of each initiative.

Implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Additionally, two 'means of implementation' targets underscore the commitment to execute the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and promote mechanisms to enhance capacity for planning and management related to climate action. The UNFCCC has emerged as the premier international forum for steering the global response to climate change, consolidating global efforts under a single umbrella.

The Paris Agreement and the Urgency of SDG 13

The urgency and the gravity of SDG 13 are vividly illustrated by the 2015 Paris Agreement where nations collectively pledged to limit global warming "well under 2 °C". But even with the present commitments under the Agreement, we're heading towards a warming of about 2.7 °C (4.9 °F) by the end of this century, a trajectory that underscores the importance of increased climate action.

Impacts and Repercussions of Climate Change

Climate change does not operate in a vacuum. Its impacts reverberate across society, instigating increased flooding, extreme heat, escalated food and water scarcity, disease proliferation, and economic loss. Human migration and conflict are potential byproducts of these upheavals. Many of these impacts are already being felt at the current 1.2 °C (2.2 °F) warming level. Further warming risks triggering global tipping points, like the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, with far-reaching consequences.

The Role of Low-Carbon Electricity in Climate Action

A key pillar in curbing emissions and limiting global warming involves transitioning to low-carbon electricity sources, replacing the carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy systems. Such a transformation necessitates phasing out coal and natural gas-fired power plants, expanding the use of renewable energy like wind and solar, and promoting energy conservation.

Interlinkages of SDG 13 with Other SDGs

Interestingly, the thread of SDG 13 intertwines with numerous other SDGs. It has a significant bearing on achieving the goals related to poverty alleviation (SDG 1), inequality reduction (SDG 10), and fostering global partnerships for sustainable development (SDG 17).

The Actualization of SDG 13

The essence of SDG 13, however, lies not just in its understanding but in its actualization. Governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide must step up to this call for climate action. A key player in this endeavor is the emergence of green jobs and companies championing sustainability, such as those featured on These organizations offer promising avenues for employment that aligns with thebroader ethos of sustainable development and contributes substantially to the fight against climate change, thereby propelling the achievement of SDG 13.

The Role of Green Jobs in SDG 13

When exploring the multifaceted layers of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 - Climate Action, the role of green jobs inevitably comes to the fore. These positions, straddling across various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administration, and service, significantly contribute to the conservation or restoration of environmental quality. Green jobs echo the ethos of SDG 13 by aiding in biodiversity preservation, curbing energy, material, and water consumption, steering the economy towards decarbonization, and mitigating waste generation and pollution.

Championing Sustainable Innovations and Inclusivity

Companies offering green jobs are crucial players in the pursuit of SDG 13. They serve as bastions of innovation, introducing sustainable solutions, and fostering environmentally friendly practices, thereby catalyzing shifts in traditional sectors. Moreover, they champion an inclusive economy by generating diverse employment opportunities and nurturing a workforce capable of propelling climate action.

For instance, the green job opportunities showcased on's platform illustrate the multiplicity of ways individuals can contribute to climate action. These positions range from sustainability managers to supply chain analysts and software developers, each playing a pivotal role in curbing climate change.

The Human Aspect of Climate Action and SDG 13

Climate action transcends numerical targets and focuses profoundly on people. Central to the principle of "leaving no one behind" is the creation of opportunities for workers in high-carbon sectors to transition seamlessly to green jobs in the burgeoning sustainable economy.

The Repercussions of Climate Change on Employment

Climate change poses significant risks to the realization of the SDGs, particularly SDG 8, focusing on decent work and economic growth. Various climate issues, including rising ocean levels, floods, heat stress, wildfires, and infrastructure damage, gravely affect employment. An ILO 2019 report on heat stress suggests that due to unbearably hot working conditions or slower work pace, the equivalent of 80 million full-time jobs could be lost by 2030, potentially resulting in a global economic loss amounting to USD 2,400 billion.

Policies aiming to mitigate climate change's impacts might have unintended ramifications, such as job losses due to carbon pricing or the phasing out of coal-fired plants. Yet, the job losses resulting from climate change dwarf those associated with ecological transition policies, which, on the contrary, hold enormous potential for job creation.

Green Job Opportunities and a Just Transition

The ILO estimates suggest that by adhering to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, we could witness the creation of 24 million new jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport by 2030. Furthermore, transitioning to a circular economy, characterized by sustainable modes of production and consumption, could generate an additional 78 million jobs.

Shifting to low-carbon and circular economies in alignment with SDGs 12 and 13 might lead to the loss of 78 million jobs, but the balance would still remain positive with a net gain of 26 million jobs by 2030. This projection underscores the fact that it is not action, but rather inaction against climate change, which threatens jobs and livelihoods on a large scale.

Geographic Challenges and the Need for a Just Transition

The transition to a sustainable, green economy demands comprehensive structural transformations, particularly regarding energy systems. One significant challenge in this respect is the uneven geographic distribution of job creation and losses. This disparity might restrict workers' access to new job opportunities, making the idea of a just transition fundamental to a successful ecological shift.

A just transition, emphasized in the Paris Agreement, strives to maximize job creation opportunities, foster inclusive growth, promote socialjustice, and prevent or minimize job and income losses as well as economic and social disruption. It necessitates appropriate policy actions and social consensus, which can be achieved through social dialogue and collective decision-making processes.

The Vital Role of Reskilling in Green Economy Transition

Skills development, reskilling, and upskilling of workers are central to this shift towards a green economy. The ILO estimates that most of the 78 million workers, whose jobs might be eliminated in the green transition, could find jobs within the same occupation in different industries through reallocation. However, almost 24 million workers might face job loss without equivalent vacancies arising in other industries. These workers would require significant reskilling into other occupations.

Social Protection for Workers and Communities

As the green transition unfolds, some job losses are inevitable, necessitating robust support programs for workers and communities. Strengthening social protection systems is key to this support, with measures including flexible financial transfers, affordable healthcare, and unemployment protection for those who lose work hours or livelihoods amid the phasing out of carbon-intensive industries.

Financing a Just Transition and Gender Equality Considerations

Financing for a just transition is a critical pillar of decarbonization, but it has often been insufficient. A fundamental shift in mindset is required, viewing social spending as an investment rather than a cost. Additionally, the transition to a green economy is not gender-neutral and could replicate existing gender imbalances in labor markets. Active labor market policies are needed to increase women's participation in the job markets of the green economy.

Comprehensive Policy Frameworks for a Just Transition

Given these complexities, comprehensive and coherent policy frameworks are needed to align climate, economic, and social policies. In 2015, representatives of governments and workers’ and employers’ organizations at the ILO developed Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all. This tool provides a framework for policy guidance, paving the way for a transition that ensures incomes and jobs are secured, leaving no one behind in our pursuit of SDG 13.

Real-Life Examples of Green Companies and Jobs

As we examine the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 - Climate Action, it becomes imperative to spotlight some pioneering companies that have been instrumental in generating green jobs and thus significantly contributing to this goal.

Ecosia: Planting Seeds for a Sustainable Future

Ecosia, a social business and the first B Corporation in Germany, is much more than just a search engine. It operates under the noble mission of cultivating an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable world. By planting and protecting forests, Ecosia provides users with an opportunity to transform their everyday online searches into environmental good. With more than 20 million users, Ecosia has successfully planted over 170 million native and biodiverse trees worldwide, consistently promoting biodiversity while aiding local communities. The green jobs at Ecosia vary from data analysts and software developers to communications specialists and conservation experts, each playing a pivotal role in mitigating climate change and furthering the cause of SDG 13.

One Tree Planted: Nurturing the Planet One Tree at a Time

As a US-based non-profit organization, One Tree Planted's dedication to global reforestation is nothing short of commendable. Its core mission is to facilitate the participation of individuals and businesses in environmental conservation, climate health improvement, biodiversity protection, and worldwide reforestation efforts. Since its inception in 2014, the organization has managed to double the number of trees planted each year, partnering with various entities across more than 80 countries. For every dollar donated, One Tree Planted ensures the planting of a tree. The range of green jobs within this organization includes project managers, marketing coordinators, and conservation experts, who work tirelessly to uphold the principles of SDG 13.

Watershed: Software Solutions for a Low-Carbon Economy

Watershed is a software company that empowers organizations with data-driven insights and tools to monitor, manage, and curtail their carbon footprints. This company's mission is to expedite the transition to a low-carbon economy by enabling businesses to make sustainable decisions based on concrete data. Through their work, Watershed assists companies in understanding their environmental impact and identifies practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Green jobs at Watershed range from software engineers to sustainability consultants, each tasked with the responsibility of assisting businesses in their quest for climate action, thus advancing the objectives of SDG 13.

Momentum Solar: Harnessing Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Tomorrow

Momentum Solar is a premier residential solar provider with a national presence across multiple states. Since its establishment in 2009, the company has witnessed exponential growth, now boasting a workforce of more than 2000 employees. Momentum Solar manages the entire solar process for its customers - from the initial sale to the completed installation. This comprehensive service offers a seamless transition to renewable energy. In addition to solar installers and sales consultants, Momentum Solar offers a plethora of green jobs including project managers, logistics coordinators, and customer service representatives. These roles are central to their operations and contribute significantly towards the successful realization of SDG 13.

Each of these companies illustrates the diverse ways that businesses can contribute to the fight against climate change, whether through reforestation, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, or the promotion of renewable energy. Furthermore, the range of green jobs offered by these companies underscores the multifaceted nature of SDG 13, illustrating the myriad ways that individuals can contribute to climate action.


In the face-off with climate change, every initiative has profound significance. The role of green jobs in propelling such initiatives cannot be underestimated. Whether it's a sustainability consultant at Ecosia, guiding the company's green initiatives, or a software engineer at Watershed, building tools for carbon footprint management, each green job plays a critical role in addressing the climate crisis and progressing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Through unique platforms like, individuals can find fulfilling careers that resonate with their values and contribute to building a more sustainable world. The platform showcases companies like One Tree Planted, Watershed, and Momentum Solar, which are fervently striving to align their operations with SDG 13 and other SDGs. These companies are the architects of the future business landscape, where profit and purpose harmoniously coexist. They strive not merely for financial gains but also contribute to bettering our planet.

We find ourselves at a crucial juncture in history, grappling with a climate crisis that imperils our existence. But with every crisis, there emerges opportunity – an opportunity for transformation, innovation, and crafting a superior future. It is through green jobs that we can leverage this opportunity, propelling climate action and paving the way for a sustainable, inclusive future.

The decision rests with us. We can either continue with the status quo or elect to be a part of the solution, working for companies that put sustainability at the forefront and contribute to the global goals. With platforms like, making such a choice is more straightforward than ever. Because securing employment should not be solely about making a living—it should also be about making a difference.

Collectively, we can strive towards achieving SDG 13 and crafting a world that is not just sustainable, but also equitable, inclusive, and resilient. After all, our future hinges on it.

So, let's roll up our sleeves, immerse ourselves in the work, and change the course of climate change—one green job at a time. The time for action is now. The future is green. And with green jobs, we can make it a reality.


  • What does SDG 13 entail? SDG 13 symbolizes a global pledge to take immediate and robust actions to tackle climate change and its devastating impacts.
  • How would you define green jobs? Green jobs are roles in diverse sectors that have a substantial contribution towards maintaining or enhancing environmental quality.
  • How do green jobs support the realization of SDG 13? Green jobs are instrumental in diminishing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing resilience to climate-related dangers, and endorsing sustainable practices. In doing so, they make a direct and significant contribution towards the accomplishment of SDG 13.
  • Where can I discover green job opportunities? is a comprehensive job board specializing in green job opportunities where you can discover a wide variety of green jobs.
  • Can I effect real change by working in a green job? Unquestionably. Every green job is critical in propelling climate action and advancing sustainability objectives, thereby making a real impact.
  • Are green jobs limited to the environmental sector? Not at all. Green jobs span across numerous sectors, which include but are not limited to agriculture, manufacturing, research and development, administration, and service activities.
  • Do green jobs support other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Yes, indeed. Green jobs support several other SDGs, such as promoting decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), encouraging responsible consumption and production (SDG 12), and facilitating affordable and clean energy (SDG 7).
  • Can you provide examples of companies offering green jobs? Ecosia, One Tree Planted, Watershed, and Momentum Solar are prime examples of companies that offer green jobs. They are listed on our job board.
  • What type of roles are available in green jobs? The scope of green jobs is extensive, offering a multitude of roles, including but not limited to sustainability consultants, software engineers, project managers, and data analysts.
  • Is there an increasing demand for green jobs? Certainly. As an increasing number of companies embrace sustainable practices and prioritize climate action, the demand for green jobs is experiencing rapid growth.

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