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publicationApril 25, 2023

Making the European Green Deal Work for People: Role of Human Development in Green Transition

This report offers an analysis of the challenges for the European Union posed by the green transition. It highlights the essential role that the human development will play in making the green transition attainable and sustainable, and its potential to drive changes in the society towards more environmentally conscious actions.

EU Green Deal for People



The damage to the environment caused by human activity in recent decades is an issue that involves people and entities across borders, and addressing this challenge requires the commitment and buy-in of all.

Green transition represents a massive effort to adopt more environmentally sustainable practices in Europe at a scale that can make a difference for current and future generations.

A human-centered approach will be essential to achieving a just transition to the more sustainable environment envisioned under the European Green Deal (EGD). This report discusses how human development policies will play a key role in achieving this goal.

  • First, human development policies are indispensable to enable the green transition. For example, training the workforce for greener jobs will require higher skills compatible with technology.
  • Second, human development policies are needed to help society adapt to a green economy.
  • Third, the level and size of the actions proposed in the EGD could imply unintended consequences with adverse effects, particularly for low-skilled workers and lagging regions, which should be mitigated.

Appropriate changes to social protection programs, education and training systems, and health services can reduce the hardships involved and help people and regions adjust successfully.

The report offers an analysis of the challenges and the implications for the region posed by the green transition in Europe. It discusses important topics, such as equipping people with green skills, strengthening labor market conditions, and improving the health sector—all of which can help Europeans take advantage of the opportunities offered by the transition.

This research can serve as a catalyst for policy dialogue and development of purposeful strategies by governments and other stakeholders.