Just Transition in the Textile and Garment Sector in China - International Summit and Capacity Building Workshop on Green Development and Responsible Transformation of Sustainable Fashion Industry
This workshop will build the capacity of local government and industrial players on Just Transition planning in the textile and garment sector. The workshop will introduce the Just Transition guidelines and its application (through the Just Transition Toolkit) and analyze the specific opportunities for social dialogue and accelerated action by government, enterprises, workers and communities for a just and green transition.
BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic caused immense social and economic consequences for businesses and workers of the global textile and garment sector. There is still much uncertainty about the huge impact of the pandemic. At the same time, the on-going crisis provides an opportunity to rethink the social and environmental weaknesses of the current supply chain model, and step up efforts to restructure the sector in a way that gives greater value to the interdependence between social, environmental, technological and economic conditions. It is necessary to strengthen international cooperation and exchanges to help promote the resumption of work and production of enterprises, and accelerate economic and industrial recovery and transformation.
The process of ‘Just Transition’ – achieving sustainability transitions in a way that is ‘just’ to the enterprises, workers and communities involved, ensuring that no one is left behind, is a highly relevant framework and provides a useful guide for structuring discussions, actions and investments in the sustainable recovery and green transition process.
The ILO Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all came at a timely moment in 2015 just before the Paris Climate Change Conference to provide a policy framework and practical tool to help countries at all levels of development manage the transition to low-carbon economies and achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The guidelines are designed to promote decent work on a large scale and ensure that social protection exists where needed. The guidelines also include mechanisms for social dialogue among governments, workers and employers' organizations throughout policy making processes at all levels. The UN’s newly launched Climate Action for Jobs Initiative, spearheaded by the ILO, builds on the Just Transition Guidelines and by providing technical guidance and support to help countries facilitate the transition to inclusive low carbon economies.
The ILO is working with national partners to apply these guidelines, including through a sectoral approach for green recovery and green development of the textile and garment industry across Asia.
In partnership with the ILO-SIDA project Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia (DWGSCA) and the UN joint Programme on Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a series of e-discussion on Just Transition in the Textile & Garment Sector in Asia are in progress. These discussions adopt a bottom-up approach, building from a country-level focus, but also providing inputs into regional dialogues and forums, as well as contributing to global discussions (COP 26, CA4JI, Fashion Charter, Sustainable Fashion Alliance, CA4JI).
The first dialogue was held in November 2020 in China, co-hosted by ILO and China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC). China is the largest textile and garment producer in the world, facing the complex and challenging international situation and the risk factors derived from COVID-19. China's textile and garment industry is in the stage of in-depth adjustment and transformation. It has established a new industrial positioning as "pillar industry for national economic and social development, basic industry for providing people’s livelihood and beautifying people’s lives, and priority industry for international cooperation and integration". The previous session offered participants a forum for identifying and prioritizing actions and interventions for recovery and re-structuring in the sector. The discussion analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on the textile and garment sector in China (within the broader global and regional context) and put forward the development visions of the sector’s green transition toward environmental sustainability and circularity.
To further facilitate the application of the Just Transition guidelines, ILO is developing a Toolkit for the textile and garment sector & the factory of the future. The Toolkit consists of reports, briefs, highlights, videos and infographics to showcase: best practice of environmental regulation and policy settings; eco-innovation processes and barriers to uptake; multi-stakeholder initiatives; and just transition in the sector.
Building on the on-going collaboration, in partnership with the ILO-SIDA DWGSCA project and PAGE China, ILO is working with CNTAC and Humen Township Government to organize an International Summit on Green Development and Responsible Transformation and capacity building workshop for industry actors to promote Just Transition and green transformation of the industry. Relevant content from the Just Transition Toolkit will be introduced and adapted for promotional and training purpose at the workshop.
- To raise awareness and build capacity of national partners on Green Jobs and Just Transition at national, local, sectoral and enterprise level.
- To provide an opportunity for international knowledge sharing and exchange on Green Jobs and Just Transition promotion in the textile and garment sector.
- To explore cooperation possibilities to promote Green Jobs and Just Transition in the textile and garment sector in Asia by assessing the needs and formulating possible projects or activities.
- To create new content for sharing of good practices and solutions across the Asia region and beyond.