UN announces new Climate Action summit, jobs initiative

The United Nations has announced a new job initiative to provide a road map for ensuring that people’s jobs and well-being are at the centre of the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that decent job creation and protecting livelihoods were at the center of countries’ efforts to boost climate action, and urged countries to join the initiative.

The new “Climate Action for Jobs” initiative will be presented at the Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit today at the UN headquarters in New York City.

The initiative has been developed jointly by the Climate Action Summit, together with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other members of the Summit’s Social and Political Drivers Action Area, co-led by Spain and Peru.

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“Some 1.2 billion jobs or 40 per cent of world employment rely directly on a healthy and stable environment. Jobs cannot be sustained on a dying planet,” said Guterres

He noted that “Today – along with the ILO and partners Spain and Peru – we are launching the Climate Action for Jobs, an initiative to put job creation and protecting livelihoods at the centre of national climate action plans.

“Some 1.2 billion jobs or 40 per cent of world employment rely directly on a healthy and stable environment. Business cannot succeed on a planet that fails. Jobs cannot be sustained on a dying planet.

“We will need government, businesses and people everywhere to join these efforts so we can put climate action into a higher gear.”

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The initiative calls on countries to formulate national plans for a just transition, creating decent work as well as green jobs, and sets out specific measures for inclusion in these plans, including:

Assessing the employment, social, and economic impacts of climate action

Implementing skills development and upgrading measures

Designing innovative social protection policies to protect workers and vulnerable groups

Increasing the transfer of technology and knowledge to developing countries, and innovation and responsible investment

Fostering a conducive business environment to enable enterprises, in particular SMEs, to adopt low-carbon production processes

Devising economic policies and incentives to support and encourage enterprises’ transition towards the environmentally sustainable production of goods and services

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Creating mechanisms for inclusive social dialogue to build consensus for transformative and sustainable change

The ILO Guidelines for a Just Transition , adopted through tripartite consensus, offer a framework to guide the transition to low-carbon economies that countries can make use of.

According to the ILO, measures to green the production and use of energy will lead to net job gains of some 24 million jobs by 2030. As emissions increase to record levels and global temperatures continue to rise, the Climate Action Summit aims to galvanize actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

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