G20 Argentina 2018

The employment impact of climate change adaptation

This report was prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the G20 Climate Sustainability Working Group (CSWG) under the Argentina G20 Presidency in 2018. It shows that adaptation measures to climate change, such as investment in adaptation infrastructure can create jobs and protect workers and income. Social protection, enterprise development and skills policy are necessary to maximise the positive effect of the transition to a climate resilient economy.

The world of work is intimately related to the natural environment. Climate change threatens the provision of many of these vital ecosystems services and endangers the jobs that depend on them. The risks and hazards associated with environmental degradation tend to affect vulnerable workers the most.

Adaptation measures can lead to employment gains and prevent job losses. Adaptation infrastructure, including in water conservation, treatment and delivery, and reforestation investment is likely to bring positive employment effects as it increases demand for construction to reduce climate-related risks.

Accompanying and enabling policies to maximise the positive employment effect of the transition to a climate-resilient economy can ensure a just transition. Social protection and skills development policies increase adaptive capacities and protect individuals and communities affected by natural hazards from income and food insecurity.