ILO Report: Implementation of Paris Agreement, SDGs Can Create 24 Million Jobs by 2030
UN Photo/Pasqual Gorriz
story highlights

According to the study, adopting sustainable practices in the energy sector, including electric vehicle use and energy efficient buildings, will create new jobs.

The report shows that SDGs that promote environmental sustainability, including SDGs 13 (climate action), 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land), can be compatible with achieving zero hunger (SDG 2 ), and ensuring affordable and clean energy for all (SDG 7), along with decent work and economic growth (SDG 8).

The report concludes that environmental laws, regulations and policies that address labor issues can advance the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and environmental objectives.

15 May 2018: Implementation of policies that promote a greener economy and better social safety nets for workers could create 24 million new jobs by 2030, according to an International Labour Organization (ILO) flagship report titled, ‘World Employment and Social Outlook 2018: Greening with Jobs.’ The report finds that efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change will create enough jobs to more than offset the expected six million job losses in industries that rely heavily on fossil fuels and carbon-based production.

According to the publication, adopting sustainable practices in the energy sector, including electric vehicle use and energy efficient buildings, will create new jobs. In addition, transitioning to more sustainable agricultural systems will create jobs in medium and large organic farms, and allow smallholders to diversify their income sources, given the right skills.

At the regional level, measures taken in sustainable energy production and use will result in net job creation in the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and Europe, while the Middle East and Africa could experience net job losses, due to their dependence on fossil fuels and mining, respectively.

The report calls on countries to train workers in the skills needed to transition to a greener economy, and provide social protections that facilitate the move to new jobs.

At the same time, the report warns, jobs depend on a healthy environment, which is threatened by climate change, increasing the incidence of heat stress, for example, which can lead to exhaustion, stroke and other illnesses and, subsequently, to a 2% global loss in hours worked by 2030.

More specifically, the report finds that, of the 163 economic sectors analyzed, most will benefit from net job creation. Only 14 will face more than 10,000 job losses, and only two (petroleum refinery and extraction of crude petroleum) show losses of 1 million or more jobs. According to the study, 2.5 million jobs will be created in renewables-based electricity generation, offsetting around 400,000 jobs lost in fossil fuel-based electricity generation. The report also shows that transitioning to a circular economy could create up to six million jobs related to recycling, repair and remanufacture.

Although measures to address climate change may result in short-term employment losses, negative impacts can be reduced through appropriate policies and synergies between social protection and environmental policies. The report calls on countries to train workers in the skills needed to transition to a greener economy, and provide social protections that facilitate the move to new jobs, help prevent poverty, and reduce household and community vulnerability. The publication advocates for a policy mix comprised of cash transfers, stronger social insurance and limiting fossil fuel use to help workers. It notes that such a mix will lead to faster economic growth, stronger employment creation, fairer income distribution and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The report concludes that environmental laws, regulations and policies that address labor issues can advance the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and environmental objectives. It recommends social dialogue to enable employers and workers to participate in the political decision-making processes, alongside governments.

The report acknowledges that, given the current pace of progress, some of the commitments made in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the SDGs may not be met by the target year. However, it shows that SDGs that promote environmental sustainability, including SDGs 13 (climate action), 14 (life below water) and 15 (life on land), can be compatible with achieving zero hunger (SDG 2), and ensuring affordable and clean energy for all (SDG 7), along with decent work and economic growth (SDG 8). [Publication: World Employment and Social Outlook 2018: Greening with Jobs] [Publication Landing Page] [ILO Press Release] [UN News Story] [UNFCCC Press Release]

related posts