NEW YORK (ILO News) - In preparation for the 2018 High-Level Political Forum, a briefing was organized at the UN on the recently published World Employment and Social Outlook 2018 – Greening with Jobs report.
The report projects highly positive future trends associated with the transition to a greener economy. It estimates a growth of approximately 24 million jobs globally resulting from the “adoption of sustainable practices, including changes in the energy mix, the projected growth in the use of electric vehicles, and increases in energy efficiency in existing and future buildings.”
Ms. Catherine Saget, Chief of the Work Income and Equity Unit of the ILO Research Department, stressed two key findings:
- Greening of economies will have a net positive impact on jobs, and is compatible with decent work.
- The transition must be accompanied by social policies to ensure that it is just.
As Ms. Saget pointed out, a key message of the analysis is the importance of the decent work agenda in this transition. The decent work agenda fosters the creation of green jobs through skills development programs, and also helps to mitigate downsides of the transition with its offering of legal instruments and social protection policies.
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Vinicius Pinheiro, Special Representative to the United Nations and Director, and with panelists Mr. Jamil Ahmad, Director, Head of Intergovernmental Affairs, UNEP New York, Ms. Verena Klinger-Dering, Counsellor for Sustainable Development, Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the UN, and Mr. Babatunde Omilola, Head of Development Planning and Inclusive Sustainable Growth Team, UNDP.
Ms. Klinger-Dering highlighted the need for policies to address the social implications of the transition to a greener economy. Global partnerships will be key and Ms. Klinger-Dering particularly identified the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) as a successful example.
Mr. Ahmad echoed similar sentiments and also emphasized the urgent need to address the current economic models which produce massive amounts of waste; less than 10% of the immense resources used for production and consumption are cycled back. Further, Mr. Ahmad stressed that green jobs will be key to change this model, achieve sustainable development, and ensure that economies are more inclusive.
Mr. Omilola stressed the importance and need for disaggregated data to inform policies on the transition. Without this robust data, it will not be possible to formulate and target policies that ensure no one is left behind.
The meeting concluded with a reiteration of the report’s key message by Mr. Pinheiro: The greening of jobs and a growing economy are not mutually exclusive, as was previously thought. In fact, as the report demonstrates, the green sector holds great promise in creating truly sustainable growth, provided that such a transition is aligned with the decent work agenda.