WEF predicts 395 million more jobs by 2030: Here’s how to prepare for them

SOURCE: Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP
In 2030, key sectors will aid in transitioning towards a more nature-positive and sustainable society.

By U2B Staff 

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released a new report, The Future of Nature and Business, which states that 395 million more jobs could be created by 2030.

The report highlights the need for businesses and governments to focus on a fundamental transformation across three socioeconomic systems: food, land and ocean use; infrastructure and the built environment; and energy and extractives.

According to the report, “There is no future for business as usual – we are reaching irreversible tipping points for nature and climate, and over half of the global GDP, $44 trillion, is potentially threatened by nature loss.”

“80% of threatened and near-threatened species are endangered by the three systems, which are responsible for the most significant business-related pressures to biodiversity; these are also the systems with the largest opportunity to lead in co-creating nature-positive pathways.”

Dominic Waughgray, Managing Director, Managing Board, World Economic Forum and Akanksha Khatri, Head of Nature Action Agenda, World Economic Forum stated in the report’s foreword that COVID-19 has brought the Great Acceleration – where human population grew to 8 billion in the past 70 years – to a screeching halt.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have died and entire sectors of the economy have stopped operating. All because a novel zoonotic disease, possibly triggered by human disturbance of nature, became a pandemic.”

They emphasised that a Great Reset is needed to gain the confidence and the support of citizens and governments, by
demonstrating its focus on inclusive growth and improved jobs and livelihood.

“Its ability to create 395 million jobs in 2030 while pivoting the global economy to be nature-positive is perhaps the single most important takeaway for decision-makers.”

“This is a path that can provide a win-win for nature, people and business. It can unlock an estimated $10 trillion of business opportunities by transforming the three economic systems that are responsible for almost 80% of nature loss.”

Therefore, 15 systemic transitions across these three socioeconomic systems with annual business opportunities worth $10 trillion that could create 395 million jobs by 2030 have been identified that will pave the way towards a “people- and nature-positive development” that develops resilience towards future shocks.

In the area of food, land, and ocean use, transitions include the sustainable management of forests, curbing of over-consumption of resource-intensive food, making oceans more healthy and productive, restoring environmental ecosystems, and making agriculture more productive and regenerative.

According to the report, “Transforming agricultural landscapes and farming practices for both food and non-food agriculture through a combination of traditional farming techniques, advanced precision technologies, and bio-based inputs can increase biodiversity, enrichen soils, improve water management and enhance ecosystem services while improving yields.”

As for infrastructure and built environment, WEF states that 40 per cent of global GDP comes from the built environment, as cities are often the engines of modern economies.

Transitions in this area include more nature-positive infrastructure design, making urban utilities smarter and safe through modern energy, and protecting natural ecosystems when building infrastructure.


The third socioeconomic system – energy and extractives – will need transitions such as rapidly scaling resource-efficient modes of production, extracting metals and minerals in a nature-positive way, supporting sustainable materials supply chain, and transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable.

According to the report, “Together, the business opportunities associated with these four transitions could create additional annual revenue or costs savings in 2030 while creating 87 million new jobs.”

These key sectors in the economy will be critical to engage in the business agenda across the three socio-economic systems and its transitions:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture, food & beverages
  • Automotive
  • Aviation, travel & tourism
  • Banking & investors
  • Chemicals & advanced materials
  • Electronics
  • Energy & utilities
  • Health & healthcare
  • IT & digital communications
  • Infrastructure & urban development
  • Insurance & asset management
  • Media, entertainment & information
  • Mining & metals
  • Oil & gas
  • Professional services
  • Retail, consumer goods & lifestyle
  • Supply chain & transportation

Looking to upskill to gain employability in future-forward careers? Consider this report and the specific areas you can look at to upskill or reskill to prepare for the world of work in the coming decade.

By constantly upskilling and staying abreast of industry trends, you won’t get left behind as the world shifts towards modern and advanced systems such as renewable energy, sustainable materials, and innovative practices to reduce the impact on nature.

Online courses are an affordable and time-efficient way to develop new skills or new knowledge about the sector you work in so that you can become an adaptable and resilient player in the workforce in the years to come.