United Nations - International Labour Organization (ILO)

Tackling climate change could create millions of new jobs

Early global efforts to avert dangerous climate change are already generating new jobs, and could produce millions of new employment opportunities, according to a new study to be launched globally by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE).

The study, entitled “Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World”, will be issued under embargo, for publication, broadcast or quotation after 17:00 GMT on Wednesday 24 September 2008.

The report is the first comprehensive study on the emergence of a “green economy” and its impact on the world of work. It includes new data that shows a changing pattern of employment in which green jobs are being generated in many sectors and economies around the world as a result of measures to tackle climate change and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This has also led to changing patterns of investment flows into areas such as renewable energy and energy efficiency at the household and industrial level. Within current policy frameworks, only a fraction of the potential benefits for jobs and development is forthcoming.

The report makes a series of policy recommendations for the international community in the lead-up to the UN Climate Convention meeting in Copenhagen in late 2009. A main point of interest will be improved access to investment for developing countries, and boosting energy efficiency in buildings and industry worldwide. The report also calls for financial support for countries to develop productive but low-emission agriculture and to manage forests to increase carbon absorption potential and to generate Green Jobs in the forestry sector in the tropics. In addition the report highlights the importance of active labour market policies, social dialogue and broad social protections to ensure a fair and just transition for workers and their communities.

This seminal report is seen as an important contribution to creating the necessary awareness about the new green economy and assist in triggering the needed changes.

ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia; UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner; the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary Guy Ryder and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) Vice President Ronnie Goldberg will present the report in New York at the United Nations Press Briefing Room (room S-226) at 09h00 on 24 September 2008.

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