The ILO and the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP25

The twenty-fifth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) organized by Chile, will be held in Madrid on 2-13 December 2019. The ILO will bring to the table the importance of the social and political drivers for a successful and rapid transition into more respectful economies, and will also be presenting the 'Climate Action for Jobs Initiative' an action plan resulted from the Climate Action Summit 2019.

COP 25 is the final COP before we enter the defining year of 2020, when many nations must submit new or updated Nationally-Determined Contributions. Yet, there remains unfinished work from COP24—namely, agreement on Article Six—and encouraging nations to raise climate ambition related to boosting NDCs by 2020. 



Current NDCs remain inadequate to what is required to meet two significant climate goals as we work to stabilize global temperature rise by 1.5C by the end of this century: reducing emissions 45 per cent by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. 



While the two overarching themes of COP25 will be boosting ambition and achieving success on Article Six, much focus remains on other areas as well, including oceans, forestry, adaptation, loss and damage, capacity-building, Indigenous issues, gender and more. There is also a need to complete several technical matters with respect to the full operationalization of the transparency framework under the Paris Agreement.

COP25 priorities

The 25th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) will take place on 2-13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain. The conference includes a series of meetings:
  • The 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),
  • The 51st meeting the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 51), and
  • The 51st meeting and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 51).
The conference venue is IFEMA - Feria de Madrid. The President-Designate for the conference is Ms. Carolina Schmidt Zaldivar, Minister of Environment of Chile. The Conference overview schedule is accessible through the following link.

ILO objectives at COP25

As a UNFCCC observer organization, the ILO will take part in the COP25 to advance decent work and just transition dimensions in the climate negotiations. In addition, the ILO will convene and participate in a series of side events, exhibits and other communication and outreach activities. Given that the COP25 takes place following the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in which the ILO played an active role supporting the Action Area on Social and Political Drivers, the ILO will seek to promote a follow-up of the Summit’s outcomes on just transition, including through high profile events on the Climate Action for Jobs initiative.

ILO events at COP25

Launch of the Climate Action for Jobs Initiative
At the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, some 46 countries made commitments to support a just ecological transition. They would do so by formulating national plans for a just transition through social dialogue, creating decent work as well as green jobs, thus enabling ambitious action toward a sustainable future of work. This work was co-lead by Spain and Peru. To turn this human-centred agenda into concrete action, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced a Climate Action for Jobs initiative in September 2019 and identified the International Labour Organization to spearhead its implementation.
This high-level event co-hosted by Spain and the ILO will launch the Climate Action for Jobs initiative. Speakers include Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain, Antonio Guterres. United Nations Secretary-General, Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, and
Roberto Suarez, Secretary-General International Organisation of Employers.
Thursday 12 December. Time: 10:00 – 11:00. Venue, COP25, Marrakesh Pavilion

More on the initiative

Launch of ILO report on skills for a greener future
The new ILO report “Skills for a Greener Future: A global view” (ILO (2019) Skills for a greener future: Key findings) analyses how skills development can underpin the green transition with documented good practices in 32 surveyed countries. It is the first global study that discusses the implications of the transition to low-carbon and resource-efficient economies for skills, gender and occupations. It is a ground-breaking piece of qualitative research and modelling, providing new insights into likely occupational skill effects in declining and growing industries by 2030 based on two global scenarios (energy sustainability and circular economy). The event will launch the new ILO report “Skills for a Greener Future: A global view” and will discuss which skills and occupations will be most in demand, and how education and lifelong learning measures can help to implement countries’ commitments to the Paris Agreement.
Thursday 12 December. Time: 15.30-16.30. Venue: Blue area, Room VI.

Achieving decent work for youth in a changing climate
This event will present results of a round of youth dialogues for green jobs, under the framework of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth.
Wednesday 4 December. Time: 14:30 to 15:45. Venue: SDG pavilion

More on the event

Young people and green jobs: recommendations from Iberoamérica

The event will take place in a space of 45 minutes, and the young people will present to decision makers the recommendations resulting from the National Youth Dialogue: Green Employment for young people. After the presentation, the guests will take the floor to commit themselves to concrete actions.
The Dialogue will be moderated by Max Trejo, General Secretary of the International Youth Organization for Latin America.
Monday 2 December 2019. Time: 15:00-15:45h. Venue: Pabellón España - IFEMA

Conclusions (in Spanish)

Meeting of the working group on Just Transition and Decent Work

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 ILO provides secretariat support connecting messages and conversations from one WG meeting to the next. At each session, key messages are compiled by the ILO, to facilitate countries to translate them into projects and policy action at country level.
The Dialogue will be moderated by Chile.
Wednesday 11 December 2019. Time: 14:00-15:30h. Venue: TBC

More on the event

One UN Side Events

SDG1 (Poverty)
Science and innovation  in support of climate action for the poor and the vulnerable

Bringing together both implementing and funding organizations, the side event will discuss how science and innovation can go hand in hand to achieve greater resilience, improve adaptation and development outcomes and, ultimately, reduce poverty through risk-informed actions at country level. 


Speakers: "P. Taalas, Secretary General WMO High-level representative from Chile M. Ollikainen, Manager of the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat J. Hansen, Senior Research Scientist CCAFS Y. Glemarec, Executive Director GCF L. Melo, Director of WFP Country Office Guatemala GEF, WBG, FAO, OHCHR, ILO
Wednesday, 04 Dec 2019. Time: 13:15—14:45. Venue: Room 3

SDG4 (Education)
Learning for Climate Action: Implementing the Paris Agreement through Education, Training and Skills

This event discusses how a comprehensive approach to climate change education supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement, exploring good practices at all levels of learning and through climate-resilient education systems from around the world. It focuses on transformative action 


Speakers: Representatives of Parties, UN Agencies and development partners; climate change education experts and practitioners; youth
Thursday, 12 December. Time: 18:30—20:00. Venue: Room 3

SDG5 (Gender)
Gender equality initiative at the SG’s Climate Action Summit: Examples and evidence of implementation

Evidence and examples, including existing good practices, implementing the gender equality initiative presented at the SG’s Climate Action Summit. 


Speakers: Governments (Chile, Spain, Peru, Costa Rica, Finland, etc.); Representatives from beneficiaries of programmes supported by UN entities; youth; financial mechanisms; civil society organizations
Wednesday, 11 December 2019. Time: 15:00—16:30. Venue: Room 3

More on the event


SDG6 (Water)
Climate-resilient water management approaches

Climate change is inextricably linked to water- for adaptation and mitigation- and there are significant co-benefits to managing climate and water in a more coordinated and sustainable manner. The event will present approaches, methodologies and climate action for negotiations and implementation. 
Tuesday, 10 December. Time: 16:45—18:15. Venue: Room 1

SDG8 (Growth and Jobs)
Just transition towards an inclusive green economy: A Driver for ambitious climate action and SDGs
This event will demonstrate that ambitious climate action can be a driver for inclusive green growth, job creation, rights and social justice. It will showcase successful experiences of just transition policies involving governments, the private sector, communities and international cooperation. 


Speakers: Ministers and senior government officials, senior business representatives, civil society organizations, youth representatives, senior UN officials
Thursday, 05 December. Time: 18:30—20:00. Venue: Room 1

More on the event

SDG10 (Human mobility)
Climate change and human mobility: responding to displacement and migration challenges
With increasing recognition of the importance of strengthening responses to displacement and human mobility related to the adverse effects of climate change, what effective, coordinated action by UN actors and their partners? 


Speakers: ILO, IOM, OHCHR, PDD (tbd), UNHCR, UNU, WFP, WMO, Youth organization (tbd), Government representative from the Caribbean region (tbd)
Thursday, 12 December. Time: 18:30—20:00. Venue: Room 4

SDG16 (Inclusion)
Realizing the right to participate: empowering people as agents of more effective climate action
The role of people on the frontlines, such as children, youth, women, workers, including those in the informal economy, and indigenous peoples in driving ambitious climate action that ensures ecosystem integrity, and their empowerment through the fulfilment of the human right to participate. 


Speakers: Representatives of CSOs, private sector, workers and indigenous peoples, child and youth participants, senior government officials, and UN officials including the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Speakers may address Article 6, Escazu, Aarhus, ACE, AIM, children’s rights, social dialogue, etc.
Monday, 09 December. Time: 18:30—20:00. Venue: Room 6

More on the event

Official exhibits

SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth: Just transitions to inclusive green economies. This exhibit will showcase successful experiences of just transition involving governments, the private sector, communities and the role of international cooperation. Booth 21 - 04/05 December 2019.


Climate Action Studio

As in previous COPs, the ILO will contribute to the UN Climate Action Studio. Studio interviews take place by invitation only, with representatives of non-Party Stakeholders, Parties and regional or negotiating groups. The ILO will be on stage at the Climate Action Studio on Tuesday, 3 December, from 11.30 to 12.30.