The ILO and the United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP24

The twenty-four session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) will be held in Katowice, Poland on 2-14 December 2018. As an observer organization, the ILO seeks to contribute to global negotiations and national actions against climate change, while promoting opportunities for decent work creation and ensuring a just transition for all.

The annual UN Climate Change Conference will be held in Katowice, Poland on 2-14 December 2018. This twenty-four session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP24) is expected to: 1) take the decisions necessary to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, and 2) take stock of the collective achievements made by the UNFCCC Parties in their efforts to meet the objectives agreed in Paris in 2015.

It will focus on the so-called Paris rulebook. Of interest to the ILO, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) are due to discuss a new work programme on Response Measures, the negotiating group addressing issues of decent work and just transition.

The Polish Presidency seeks to demonstrate the capacity of transformation by hosting the Conference in the city of Katowice. Katowice has evolved from being a coal and steel relying city to an international centre for services, IT and conferences.

Poland plans to focus its messages at COP24 on three key themes:
  • Technology - development of climate-friendly modern solutions, such as electromobility;
  • Man - solidary and just transition of industrial regions;
  • Nature – supporting achieving climate neutrality by absorbing CO2 by forests and land, or by water management.

ILO objectives at COP24

As an observer organization in the UNFCCC, the ILO seeks to contribute to global negotiations and national actions against climate change, while promoting opportunities for decent work creation and ensuring a just transition for all. The ILO aims to focus its activities at COP24 on three objectives:
  1. Promoting the integration of decent work and just transition in all dimensions of climate action;
  2. Promoting the adoption of the Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration proposed by the COP Presidency;
  3. Ensuring presence and visibility through informal diplomacy, side events, exhibits and outreach to the climate constituency.

ILO events at COP24

The ILO will be hosting and contributing to several side events, studios and exhibits addressing issues at the interface of climate change, decent work and a just transition for all, with the participation of ILO constituents representing governments, workers and employers’ organizations:

Just Transition for All – Solid Research Evidence and Implementation Pathways

Monday 03 Decembe, 12:00-16:00, Polish Pavilion

As currently the just transition is being discussed in multiple forums at the UNFCCC, there is a strong need for the solid analytical evidence on past just transitions and pathways for optimal future ones to be synthesized and presented to the right drivers of change within the UNFCCC process. This event is an attempt to offer a more structured interaction between relevant research and Just Transition drivers within the UN process and with Parties.

More on the event.

ILO - Game changer for the future of work: Towards a just transition with gender equality

Monday 03 December, 16:30-18:00, Polish Pavilion 

This event will highlight how the global efforts towards a just transition and achieving gender equality, are mutually reinforcing and beneficial, and can be a ‘game changer’ for the future of work. Prevailing gender gaps continue to hamper progress both in developed and developing economies, therefore the linkage between gender and climate change is important and a necessary combination. This session will showcase the untapped potential of promoting just transition with gender equality across different sectors and country contexts for furthering effective climate action, while working to close persistent gender gaps.

More on the event.

UN SYSTEM SIDE EVENT ON SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
The role of water in achieving climate neutrality

Tuesday 04 December, 13:15-14:45, Room 6


WIM Task Force on Displacement: Recommendations for Integrated Approaches on How to Avert, Minimize and Address Displacement and Next Steps

Thursday 06 December, 13:15-14:45, Room Pieniny

These recommendations provide a range of actions and policy instruments that aim to strengthen policies, institutional frameworks, tools and guidelines, and the preparedness and capacities of national and local governments to address climate-related drivers and the impacts of displacement. The side event aims to highlight the significance of the recommendations and to clarify what is at stake, generate support for the recommendations leading to their adoption by the Parties, and stimulate a discussion on what needs to be done for enhanced implementation at the sub-national, national, regional and international level.

More on the event.

Powering a just transition to climate-resilient economies and societies for all

Friday 07 December, 15:00-16:30, NDC Pavilion

A just transition to climate-resilient development pathways can become a driver for economic growth, job creation, job upgrading, and poverty eradication, allowing climate and social justice for all and promoting, protecting and fulfilling human rights for all. This event will examine the nature and scale of expected and ongoing structural transformations impacting enterprises, workers and communities and discuss practical means through the NDC formulation and implementation to achieve a just transition for all and consider policy frameworks that countries can employ.

More on the event.

COP24 in-session Roundtable by UNFCCC secretariat on SDG 8 – Climate action that promotes a just and sustainable transition for all

Monday 10 December, 11:30-13:00, Climate Action Room 2

Transitions to low-emission resilient economies must include just transition policies tailored for local, sectoral and vulnerability contexts with a principle of social dialogue. This event looks at how social inclusion measures and investment decisions assist in a just and sustainable transition. 

More on the event.

Voices from the Climate Frontlines: Protecting the rights of the most vulnerable and furthest behind 

Monday 10 December, 18:30-20:00, Room 2

The importance of climate actions and policies that respect, promote and protect the human rights of persons, groups and peoples disproportionately affected by climate change, particularly their right to participate, for transformative climate action and the eradication of all forms of poverty.


Climate-induced human mobility: taking stock of 3 years of discussions under the UNFCCC

Tuesday 11 December, 13:15-14:45, Room Warmia

The event aims to take stock of what has happened in the past three years (2015-2018), since COP21, in terms of mobility discussions under the UNFCCC. This event takes place in the context of the finalization of the recommendations of the Taskforce on Displacement and the presentation of these recommendations at COP24.


UN SYSTEM SIDE EVENT ON SDG 5: Gender equality and women’s empowerment
Gender mainstreaming in adaptation and mitigation: a nexus approach

Tuesday 11 December, 18:30-20:00, Room Warmia

The side-event will showcase the nexus between gender mainstreaming in adaptation and mitigation actions and gender-responsive agriculture, food security, nutrition, health, energy. It will showcase synergies through education, women’s human rights and labor rights and gender-responsive NDCs.
More on the event.

ILO ITUC Just Transition

Wednesday 12 December, 15:00-16:30, Pomorze Climate Action Room 3 

Meeting of the Working Group on Just Transition and Decent Work

Wednesday 12 December, 16:30-18:00, Pomorze Climate Action Room 3 

The Working Group on Just Transition and Decent Work is part of the Marrakech Partnership Global Climate Action themes, including resilience, transport, energy, human settlements, just transition & decent work, and water. The WG was created under the Fiji Presidency of COP23 Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) with the mandate to share examples and good practices on how the Paris Agreement can be implemented on the ground while promoting green jobs that are good for people, good for the environment and good for the economy.

Move on the event.

UN SYSTEM SIDE EVENT ON SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth
A just transition towards an inclusive green economy

Wednesday 12 December, 18:30-20:00, Room Bieszczady

This event will demonstrate that climate action can be a driver for inclusive growth, job creation, rights and social justice, showcasing country experiences on just transition planning and policies with the engagement of governments and social partners and opportunities for international cooperation.

More on the event.

ILO-FAO Joint event with COP23 Presidency (Fiji): Co-benefits of decent work and sustainable agriculture practices in the Pacific  

Friday 14 December, 9:00-10:30, Koronivia Pavilion

Under the COP23 Presidency, the Conference of the Parties adopted decision 4/CP.23 on the ‘Koronivia joint work on agriculture’. The socioeconomic dimension of climate change in the agricultural sector was identified as a key issue. This high-level Talanoa dialogue will discuss examples from the Pacific region that show transformative initiatives that foster green and decent jobs and co-benefits of decent work for Pacific countries economic diversification into smart, sustainable agriculture practices.

More on the event.

UN Exhibits

The ILO will also display its work in UN exhibition booths under the themes of the Sustainable Development Goals, including a dedicated exhibit on Green growth and Decent Work.