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COP 26

Prioritize world of work in implementation of Paris climate agreement

Urgent measures to address climate change should prioritize decent work and a just transition to greener economies, says the International Labour Organization, ahead of COP26 climate change conference.

News | 28 October 2021

GENEVA (ILO News) – Ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference – which opens on 31 October – the International Labour Organization has called on countries to prioritize the world of work aspects of the Paris agreement on climate change to ensure a just transition to greener economies.

Governments need to integrate into their long-term plans towards zero carbon emissions, clear and concrete measures to promote decent work. In addition, countries should join the coalition of 48 countries that have already committed to formulate national policies to ensure that decent work and livelihoods are at the centre of global and national climate action, the ILO says.

Alongside these measures, comprehensive and coherent polices are needed, involving all actors in the world of work, to enable successful structural change and deep economic and social transformations.

Moustapha Kamal Gueye, head of the ILO’s Green Jobs programme stressed the need for a full range of social and labour market policies to be deployed, in line with the ILO’s Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all.

This includes concrete action in the areas of sustainable growth, industrial and sectoral policies, employment and social protection policy, public investment, enterprises, labour migration governance, skills, occupational safety and health, social protection, labour market policies, rights, social dialogue and tripartism.

‘We must ensure that climate change policies leave no one behind and empower all climate actors by promoting decent job creation and by fully taking into account the needs and priorities of indigenous and tribal peoples, persons with disabilities, displaced people with disabilities, migrant workers, workers in the informal economy and the rural sector and youth,’ Gueye said.

Adequate national and international financing are essential to ensure that the transition to sustainable economies does not adversely affect workers’ livelihoods.

This means public financing for skills and enterprise development, social protection, active labour market policies and job creation policies.

“National and international financing mechanisms need to address the Paris objectives of decent work creation and a just transition of the workforce and the economy, as part of the responses to climate change,’ Gueye stressed.

The ILO will be taking part in discussions at the UN Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Glasgow 31 October – 12 November.

Action on climate change must deliver a just transition to carbon neutrality

Ahead of COP26, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, Martha Newton explains why the ILO is calling on countries to include measures to promote decent work and a just transition to a greener future in their strategies to achieve net zero.