Students are being urged to submit ideas to reduce carbon emissions and support the green economy in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship, which closes this week.
The competition aims to inspire students to look at the green economy and consider jobs within the sector. The organisation estimates that nearly half a million new jobs will emerge within the sector by 2020 as the UK strives to meet emission reduction targets and provide secure and clean energy sources.
Currently, the UK green economy is growing at a rate of 5% a year, compared with overall economic growth of around 0.8%, according to figures from the Confederation of British Industry. As a result the number of green jobs is expected to hit 1.4 million.
The renewable energy industry is now supporting 6.5 million jobs globally, according to figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency, representing a 14% increase in the last year. However, the latest figures from the Renewable Energy Association suggest that the number of jobs the industry is supporting in the UK decreased between 2010/11 and 2012/13, dropping to 103,000 from 110,000.
One of the competition’s judges, Helen Walker, international head of development from The Climate Group, commented, “Climate change is one of the defining features of modern times and with that the green economy is booming and we’re seeing an emergence of green careers.
“We needs to see more students coming through with green credentials, new skills and fresh thinking to shape the future of how we live and do business.”
The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Scholarship is open to current and prospective students living in England, Scotland or Wales that want to pursue a green-themed postgraduate degree. The degree will be provided though the Open University and aims to explore some the most challenging problems around responding to climate change and related issues.
Entries will be put to a panel of judges, which are looking for ideas that combine sustainability, creativity and entrepreneurship.
The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge also includes a separate competition for budding green entrepreneurs to enter their ideas for the chance to turn their dream business into a reality.
Photo: lamoix via Flickr