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World of Work Summit

President Hollande calls for tripartite mobilization on climate change

Guest of honor of the 104th Session of the International Labour Conference, French President François Hollande advocated for universal mobilization to fight climate change and better ensure application of international labour law.

News | 11 June 2015
President of France, François Hollande
GENEVA (ILO News) – French President François Hollande called on International Labour Organization (ILO) member States, social partners, businesses and local communities to take action to address climate change, anticipate technological transformation, ensure successful energy transition and guarantee a true international labour law.

"To act for climate is to act for growth, justice and labour rights," said President François Hollande in an address to delegates at the 104th International Labour Conference in Geneva.

As a guest of honour of the Conference, the President of France spoke to some 4,000 delegates from governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations from 185 member States of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a special sitting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

"Climate change is a global challenge that will not be met without a commitment by all countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases in proportion to their means and their responsibilities," said Mr. Hollande in announcing preparations for the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in Paris in December 2015.

"We need a global agreement, differentiated and compelling," he added, stressing the need for global financing of up to $100 million per year as of 2020.

"The ILO should be more involved in the preparation of major world conferences," including the climate conference, the post-2015 agenda and trade negotiations, noted President Hollande, recalling the proactive role of ILO in the fight against climate change.

According to a recent ILO study, the transition to a greener economy could generate some 15 to 60 million additional jobs worldwide within 20 years provided countries adopt appropriate policies related to the decent work agenda. Emerging and developing countries would be the first to benefit. Moreover, this development model would help tens of millions workers get out of poverty. "If we do nothing, we could have job losses, unemployment and deterioration of living standards," warned François Hollande reiterating that "the first priority is to create jobs."

Introducing the French President, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder praised the commitment of France in the fight against unemployment. "For the past three years, your government was committed to fighting unemployment, which is a global challenge. Your government is implementing an ambitious programme of work, with the central goal of sustainable improvement in growth and employment." Mr. Ryder welcomed the support given by France to challenges such as the transition to a low carbon economy and the key issues related to climate change.

The ILO's advocacy in this area is based around a few simple ideas: the ecological transition offers opportunities for jobs and growth that must be seized, we must now anticipate the skills and training that this economy will need, finally, this transition, to be fair, should help intensify efficiency in the fight against poverty and inequality. "In a word, decent work and the climate agenda go hand in hand and reinforce each other," insisted Guy Ryder.

François Hollande and Guy Ryder also signed an agreement renewing an existing partnership between France and the ILO which is funded up to some € 14 million over four years. The French funding will support the ILO's efforts through technical cooperation programs, particularly in francophone Africa. The areas covered correspond to ILO priorities such as the promotion of decent work, governance and human rights, social protection floors and the fight against child labour. The partnership agreement will also involve French companies in ILO efforts to promote corporate social responsibility and to support the ILO centenary initiative on the future of work.

Furthermore, France and Peru launched on 10 June in Geneva a joint appeal on climate change and decent employment. This call urges all countries to undertake efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change which can act as a powerful engine of growth, job creation, social justice, gender equality and eradication of poverty.

France intends to ratify the ILO Protocol on Forced Labour by the end of 2015.