ILO, UNFCCC Argue Planet’s De-carbonization Can Create Green Jobs
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Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, and Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, have published an op-ed, titled 'Cleaner, Greener and Richer,' arguing that the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit in New York and the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Paris in 2015 can deliver a more prosperous world that provides millions of decent work opportunities.

The editorial highlights that climate change mitigation can promote growth and high-quality employment.

unfccc-ilo22 September 2014: Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder, and Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, have published an op-ed, titled ‘Cleaner, Greener and Richer,’ arguing that the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York and the UNFCCC session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Paris in 2015 can deliver a more prosperous world that provides millions of decent work opportunities. The editorial highlights that climate change mitigation can promote growth and high-quality employment.

Ryder and Figueres posit that expansion of renewable energy alone is not enough to tackle climate change, and point out that smarter ways of managing forests, freshwater supplies, soils and biodiversity are needed to enhance the environment’s capacity to absorb CO2 emissions, while simultaneously building the capacity of countries and communities to adapt to climate change. They observe that while achieving a global climate agreement that envisions a climate-neutral world by 2050 would considerably increase the potential to create green jobs, the alternative, the continued growth of global CO2 emissions, would undermine economic output and reduce productivity by over 7%, on average, worldwide.

Ryder and Figueres argue further that although some job losses are inevitable, particularly in carbon-intensive industries, those losses can be compensated for by job growth in the low-carbon economy. Retraining and skills development need to be initiated to ensure that workers can pursue new employment opportunities in clean energy and natural-resource management. Thus, they argue, by “putting the planet on the path toward de-carbonization,” climate change and unemployment can be addressed simultaneously, with mutually reinforcing policies. [Op-ed: Cleaner, Greener, and Richer]


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