Sustainable development

ILO and UNFCCC team up to boost action on just transition and decent work in the context of climate change

The agreement between the two organizations will bring a substantial contribution to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Press release | 14 March 2017
© Neil Palmer / CIAT
GENEVA / BONN – An agreement to promote decent work and a ‘just transition’ of the workforce towards sustainable economies and societies for all has been signed by the UN’s labour and climate change organizations.


The move follows the adoption and entry-into-force of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement that aims to deliver a climate stable future for every man, woman and child.

“Our members, namely governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, are key to efforts that will allow a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent jobs in the context of global action on climate change. This Memorandum of Understanding will therefore help give practical effect to the Just Transition Guidelines of the ILO as a framework to support action on climate change,” said International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General Guy Ryder.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said: “We are delighted to forge an ever deeper relationship with the ILO. Implementing the Paris Agreement and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals has the potential to generate more and new kinds of better quality jobs across the globe. We intend to maximize the opportunities from our mutually-shared agendas.”

The partnership promotes the integration of decent work and a just transition in the implementation of national measures on climate change.

Among other areas of collaboration, the ILO and UNFCCC will conduct studies at global and national levels to measure the impact of climate change and the transition on employment in different sectors.

These assessments will inform and guide countries on the responses that are needed in areas such as employment, social protection, occupational safety and health, industrial restructuring, skills needs identification and skills development, in their national contexts.

Other activities mentioned in the MoU include the review of national and regional experiences, the strengthening of social dialogue between governments and the social partners at all levels, and capacity building programmes on climate change and decent work for developing countries.

For more information, please contact:

Nick Nuttall, UNFCCC Spokesperson: +49 228 815 1400 (phone), +49 152 0168 4831 (mobile) nnuttall@unfccc.int

UNFCCC Press Office: press@unfccc.int

About the UNFCCC

With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.

See also: unfccc.int

Follow UNFCCC on Twitter: @UNFCCC | español: @CMNUCC | francais: @CCNUCC | Deutsch: @UNKlima
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa on Twitter: @PEspinosaC
UNFCCC on Facebook: facebook.com/UNclimatechange
UNFCCC on Instagram: @UNFCCC

About the International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO has a unique structure, bringing together governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives. It was founded in 1919 and has 187 member States.

See also: ilo.org