Just transition

Closing address at the ADB ILO High-level Dialogue on More Quality Jobs in Asia and the Pacific: Investing for a Just Transition

By Mr Khalid Hassan, Director, ILO Country Office for the Philippines at the ADB ILO High-level Dialogue on More Quality Jobs in Asia and the Pacific: Investing for a Just Transition, 51st ADB Annual Meeting, Mandaluyong, Philippines, 4 May 2018

Declaración | Mandaluyong, Philippines | 4 de mayo de 2018
Good morning! We appreciate your presence today. Thank you for joining this high-level dialogue. Together, we help shape the future of Asia and the Pacific.

The region has made considerable progress yet challenges remain, including inequality, poverty and vulnerable employment. There is a need to ensure rights at work, social protection and dialogue. These challenges, along with climate change and environmental degradation, pose threats on economic and social progress made.

Climate change is a result of human activity, which for most part is work-related but we do not have to choose between creating decent jobs and preserving the environment.

Just transition is a must to ensure no one is left behind as reinforced in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Today’s high-level dialogue, highlighted the following:

First: A just transition is a challenging and complex process, yet it offers immense opportunities for countries to take advantage.

Pursuing a sustainable pathway helps create decent jobs as well as reduce poverty and inequality. These changes will have an impact on the way we work, including production and consumption patterns. The economic restructuring could result to jobs being created, shifted, eliminated and transformed in the process.

Impact will be greater for vulnerable groups and low-skilled workers. Yet, opportunities outweigh the challenges as we transition to a greener, more sustainable economy. Millions of additional jobs can be created in sectors like agriculture, forestry, energy, recycling, construction, and transport.

Second: Just transition is a must and we need appropriate policies and coherent action to achieve sustainable growth that leaves no one behind.

Policy guidelines on “Just Transition towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies for All”, offer a practical tool and framework anchored on decent work, which governments, workers and employers adopted.

The Philippines is among the pilot countries for the application of the Just Transition Guidelines in partnership with the ILO and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The country pioneered the Philippine Green Jobs Act, which placed decent work central in promoting environmentally sustainable growth and in building climate change resilience.

We need appropriate policies and coherent action. In the Philippines, Just Transition will be part of the new United Nations Development Assistance Framework and the Decent Work Country Programme. Vital in the process of implementing this legislation and in developing just transition strategies is strong tripartism and social dialogue, where governments, workers and employers play an active role.

Third: Investments are crucial for a Just Transition.

Development partners such as ADB has embarked on investing sustainably, as reflected in its ‘Strategy 2030’. Quality jobs is a priority area to effectively respond to changes and challenges. A Just Transition indeed offers huge potential but we need to work together, across borders to advance and to scale-up efforts as well as to re-calibrate our actions and investments.

More sustainable investments are needed, including infrastructure that create decent jobs, develop skills and education, support enterprises, and expand social protection, especially for the most disadvantaged.

The Just Transition pilot initiative in the Philippines lays the foundation to fully operationalize the Green Jobs Act and to accelerate creation of decent jobs. However, it is vital to invest for a Just Transition in the country and support critical sectors, such as mining, tourism, agriculture, and transportation. Other countries in the region and globally can also consider the experience of the Philippines on the Green Jobs Act and the process it is taking towards a just transition.

For the ILO, we are committed to support countries in pursuing a Just Transition. We are scaling up initiatives to manage a Just Transition in the run up to the Centenary or 100 years of the ILO in 2019.

Again, the challenge that lies ahead is not just about creating more jobs. It is the quality of those jobs that really matters. Coordinated social, economic and environmental policies, strong labour market institutions and social dialogue are needed more than ever.

By working together, we can realize a greener, sustainable future through a just transition and decent work for all. Thank you very much.