Climate change

ILO and UNFCCC to increase collaboration ahead of UN climate summit

Joint statement by Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Statement | 27 August 2014

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder and UNFCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres
The upcoming UN Climate Summit in New York is a great opportunity to move forward on the key challenges concerning the environment, health and the economy while at the same time providing a big boost for the creation of decent jobs across the globe.

Going green and addressing climate change is still viewed by some as hampering growth and threatening jobs. We know that is not the case. If properly managed, environmental sustainability can lead to more and better jobs, poverty reduction and social inclusion. In fact, the transition to the green economy could generate up to 60 million additional jobs over the next two decades.

The actors in the world of work – governments, employers and workers -- are key agents of change. They can develop new ways of working that safeguard the environment for present and future generations, eradicate poverty and promote social justice by fostering sustainable enterprises and creating decent work for all. Some encouraging initiatives are pointing the way to what can be done.

Inaction is not an option. Unabated climate change will exacerbate climate-related damage to infrastructure, disrupt business activity, and destroy jobs and livelihoods on an unprecedented scale.

By addressing climate change, putting the planet on a deep de-carbonization path and envisioning a climate-neutral world in the second half of the century, governments meeting in New York on 23 September and then in Paris in 2015 have the opportunity to deliver not only a safer, healthier and more prosperous world but also to make decent work a reality for millions of people.

The UNFCCC and the ILO are committed to strengthening their collaboration and mobilization of constituents in support of an ambitious and successful global climate change agreement that will put the world on the path towards environmental sustainability, full and productive employment and a sustainable future for all.