The advent of green jobs is a direct response to two major challenges of the 21st century: how to avert dangerous climate change and environmental degradation, and the need to deliver socially responsible development achievable through decent work. Responding to these challenges requires a far-reaching transformation to the way we produce, consume and earn a living. Creating green jobs and adapting our existing occupations are critical counterparts in promoting the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient and environmentally friendly economy that is fair to all.
The ILO and the UNEP have defined green jobs as employment designed to reduce environmental impact, ultimately resulting in levels of economic activity that are sustainable.
Many countries in Asian and the Pacific have voluntarily committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 or carbon intensity per unit of GDP. In this regard, engaging the Asian economy into an environmentally sustainable and low carbon development path will bring profound and lasting adjustments to the socio-economic structures of countries in the region. The transformation into a sustainable and low-carbon development will therefore trigger shifts in the labour markets and create demand for new skills and re-skilling programs, and social protection and financial schemes in particular for the most exposed workers and businesses. The effects of climate change and the resulting policies on the world of work are not always fully understood and in some cases considered a drain on the economy and competitiveness. Whereas in fact, most recent studies show that climate-smart policies can bring environmental, economic and social benefits together. The changes in production and consumption patterns that are called for in the drive towards a climate friendly economy require incorporating the social, gender and employment dimensions into decision making. The labour authorities and the social partners (ILO constituents) involvement in the development of inclusive and coherent climate policies are required.
The Green Jobs in Asia Project, under The Australian Government – ILO Partnership Agreement (2010–2015), seeks to deepen ILO constituents understanding and commitments for the promotion of gender sensitive green jobs opportunities and a just transition for workers and employers towards a low-carbon, climate resilient, environmentally friendly development.
The immediate objectives of the project are:
- Promote the capacity of ILO constituents to engage in dialogue on green jobs through increased access to reliable sources of data and information on green jobs and training, including on the employment impacts of environment-related policies and good practices on green jobs in all participating countries;
- Green jobs mainstreamed in national labour and social policy of participating countries
- Green Jobs demonstration programs which respond to the different needs of women and men implemented in key sectors selected on the basis of research and consultations in four of the project countries.
It is envisaged that upon completion of the project, ILO constituents and national partners will be knowledgeable about the impacts of climate policies on the labour market and the potential for gender responsive green jobs creation/maintenance. They will have acquired the capacity and the elements to take part in the national discussions on climate change and to respond to these changes.
Here is the Project Status Brief as of July 2012
For further information please contact:
Mr Matthew Hengesbaugh
Regional Project Coordinator
Green Jobs in Asia Project
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +66 2 288 2478
Fax: +66 2 288 1076