Green jobs

A just transition to a sustainable future: Next steps for Europe

The transition to greener and more sustainable economies will provoke profound changes to the world of work. This policy brief makes the case for a just transition in Europe.

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges of our time. Changing the way we produce and consume is already profoundly affecting the world of work. The green transition has enormous job creation potential. But certain occupations and industries will decline, and this will have social consequences.

The EU has taken a leading role in coordinating both the greening of the EU economy and the efforts of its Member States to combat climate change. Initiatives such as the Europe 2020 programme for sustainable and inclusive growth, plans for a circular economy and pan-European goals for renewable energy production are all inspiring examples of how the EU is investing in a green future.

For the ILO, the indispensable structural transformation of our economies must take place through a socially just and inclusive transition. It is therefore vital to secure the livelihoods of those who might be negatively affected by the green transition. Businesses, in particular SMEs, need to be supported to unlock the potential of green goods and services. Social dialogue has to be an integral part of planning and implementation at all levels.

This policy brief stresses that the green transition can be socially sustainable only if green jobs are also decent jobs. The ILO Just Transition Guidelines set out the next steps for this process.