IEMA’s Martin Baxter discusses green jobs and technology at COP27

8th November 2022

IEMA’s Deputy CEO, Martin Baxter, spoke about the need for all jobs to become ‘greener’ at a Blue Zone event at COP27 today, and how technology has a crucial role to play.

Hundreds of online viewers from the US, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Thailand and beyond joined those present in Sharm El-Sheikh for the event, titled: Digital and sustainability – The role of technology in climate action.

Baxter spoke about the big strategic challenges facing economies worldwide, and the links to sustainability and technology.

“We face a massive climate change crisis, and the time left to have any hope of keeping global temperatures within 1.5°C is rapidly diminishing,” he explained. “We also have other big challenges which interface with the digital world.

“We have a biodiversity crisis, we have a water crisis, we have a materials challenge in terms of the amount of waste we create, and we also have an equality challenge, as people do not have the opportunities.

“Technology is a huge part of the solution to the challenges we face. I see this as a big opportunity to connect the world in a better way, to provide information support, access to insights, and translating big data into real-world uses.”

Baxter and Howes speak at COP27

Baxter – who was joined by Defra’s Group Chief Digital and Information Officer, Chris Howes – went on to outline how “all jobs need to be done in a greener way”, from engineering design, to logistics and procurement.

This will require an upskilling of entire economies, with Baxter adding: “In order to meet the skills challenge that we face, you need to provide bespoke learning and development opportunities for people.”

He highlighted recent work between IEMA and Deloitte looking at transitions in workforce skills, explaining how “there is no doubt that there has been a huge increase in the number of people working in sustainability roles.”

That research can be viewed online, along with a toolkit to help organisations understand their maturity and readiness for a sustainable future.

In terms of further IEMA resources that can be accessed online, Baxter pointed to guidance on Pathways to Net Zero, and revealed that additional guidance on adaptation for organisations will be published later this week.

He said: “People working with sustainability in mind, and working with new technologies in a digital future, need to be on a trajectory where they say ‘we can do this’ and ‘we can be successful’.

“There’s an awful lot of fear and anxiety from people out there, and we need to demonstrate how, through the world of work, we can be part of a cleaner, greener future, and part of the solution to the challenges.”

On his hopes for COP27, Baxter added: “This is all about translating ambition into action, because ultimately, unless we do something different, we are not going to be successful.

“Most countries have something in place at a very high strategic level, but they are not doing enough to deliver. I would like to see world leaders being very genuine around how they are going to deliver a whole-economy plan that is going to make this rapid transition.”

You can watch the event again here.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

IEMA and IFoA publish guide to climate-related financial disclosures

IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) have today published up-to-date guidance to help companies and individuals understand climate-related financial information.

22nd February 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Global corporations such as Amazon and Google purchased a record 46 gigawatts (GW) of solar and wind energy last year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).

13th February 2024

Read more

Three-quarters of UK adults are concerned about the impact that climate change will have on their bills, according to polling commissioned by Positive Money.

13th February 2024

Read more

All major housing developments in England will be required by law to deliver at least a 10% increase in biodiversity under new rules that came into force today.

12th February 2024

Read more

The number of UK environmental charities reporting on the racial diversity of their workforce grew by more than half last year, according to figures released yesterday.

6th February 2024

Read more

Tom Pashby reviews Anna Trompetas’s OffSet, a dystopian climate fiction novel that explores questions of morality, motherhood and class inequality

1st February 2024

Read more

This year’s climate conference served up mention of food systems for the first time. David Burrows explores the significance of this

1st February 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close