Working towards sustainable development: Opportunities for decent work and social inclusion in a green economy

This joint ILO/UNEP study shows that, if accompanied by the right policy mix, a green economy can also create more and better jobs, lift people out of poverty and promote social inclusion. It also demonstrates that employment and social inclusion must be an integral part of any sustainable development strategy.


A green economy is necessary if sustainable development is to be realized. However, as this report emphasizes, a green economy can also, if accompanied by the right policy mix, create more and better jobs, lift people out of poverty and promote social inclusion. In fact, the growth model of the past few decades has been inefficient, not only economically, but also from environmental, employment and social perspectives. It overuses natural resources, is environmentally unsustainable and has failed to meet the aspirations of a large proportion of society seeking productive, decent work and dignified lives.

A new development model – one which puts people, fairness and the planet at the core of policy-making – is urgently needed, and is eminently achievable. More fundamentally, this report demonstrates that employment and social inclusion must be integral parts of any sustainable development strategy and must be included in policies that address climate change and ensure the preservation of the environment. In particular, the report assesses the sectoral, employment and income implications of the transition to a green economy. It highlights the necessary conditions, policy prescriptions and good practices required to ensure that the green economy is characterized by gains in job quality, reductions in poverty and improvements in social inclusion.