Skills shortages, including those necessary for the creation and management of small enterprises, hinder the proliferation of investment in renewable energy in Africa in general, with only 30 per cent of the population having access to conventionally-generated electricity.
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Recent national employment policies too include provisions for adapting skills systems, with more technical and vocational training for green jobs van der Ree, An ILO survey of among 27 countries worldwide found that 19 had set up stakeholder platforms to anticipate skills needs and the provision of adequate training.
But these efforts are hampered by a lack of consensus regarding the definition of skills for green jobs and by limited capacities for assessing the changing need for skills ILO, Consequently, skills development policies in support of transition still have a short-term horizon and are implemented on a limited scale.
In Germany and France, for example, the greening of the building sector has been much facilitated by a responsive training system adjusting curricula and introducing new green certification courses at an early stage. It also suggests that commitments to targets for emissions reductions consistent with the Paris Agreement and related policies and investments for green growth do not necessarily hurt jobs at the aggregate level. But the effects on labour markets will often be sector-specific and spatially concentrated in areas within resource-intensive industries.
Many of these effects can be anticipated, but others may come as a relative shock when environmental policies change due to abrupt political changes. Whether the reallocation of workers towards alternative jobs in expanding industries, for example renewable energy, will offset this loss is dependent on factors such as the flexibility of labour markets, the alignment of incentives for investing and engaging workers in low-carbon sectors, and supportive measures by governments that seek to ease the transition.
These challenges may be more important in emerging economies with a greater share of carbon-intensive industry, which also employ mostly low-skilled workers OECD, They found that, in general, the net employment effects were positive, albeit modest. In countries where environmental policies were combined with well-designed supportive measures such as subsidies, fiscal incentives and sector promotion, as well as with active labour market measures, job outcomes were better ILO and OECD, This implies that, for those workers, the transition to other jobs may be more difficult and possibly more costly in terms of unemployment payments, relocation and retraining see Box As a result, at least 1.
In return for these efforts, enterprises received preferential treatment and tax incentives. Enterprise-based HRD departments should undertake active labour market mediation, including helping individuals to start their own enterprises whilst keeping their formal labour relationship with the firm.
These firms received subsidies for these start-ups. A total of , workers in 28 provinces and 2, enterprises have been re-employed or assisted in other ways since the measures came into force in Essentially, it calculated the budget required for i income, retraining and relocation support for workers facing retrenchments from fossil fuel based industries, ii guaranteeing the pensions of workers in the affected industries, and iii setting up effective transition programmes in affected communities.
Coal, gas and ancillary industries are, together, estimated to employ around , people. In the adopted emissions reduction scenarios around , jobs would be at stake. Of these, by far the greatest part—83 per cent of jobs—are held by workers who could retire in the projected period. The remaining 17 per cent would have to be redeployed in renewable energies or other sectors. Together with funding for the pension provisions of retired workers over the long term and transitional support for affected local economies and communities, the total cost would be USD million per year.
Their review includes cases from Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, the US, and the Czech Republic and Poland, and has included the drawing up of detailed policy recommendations to plan and manage the closure of mines Caldecott et al. This mandate has shaped the role of the Organization in helping to ensure that economic growth policies generate opportunities for decent work and social protection for all—in other words are just and inclusive. It led to the creation of a dedicated, resourced programme of work on Green Jobs in , with a mandate to work across the ILO to raise awareness and rally support for the promotion of green jobs.
They argued that the aim should not be to promote green enterprises and green jobs per se, but to work with the entire private sector towards more resilience and higher resource efficiency. This position reflected the concern in the private sector regarding strong environmental regulation from governments, particular in industrialised countries.
Rather, the debate was focused on how links to the decent work agenda could be made, what the unique value added by the ILO would be, and whether this would eventually lead to a new international labour standard regarding social justice in the context of the transition. A compromise was found, with the agreement to hold a General Discussion at the International Labour Conference in , which would shape the policy agenda and review the available ILO instruments that might support a just transition. It identifies the concept of a green economy as one of the pathways to sustainable development and stresses that such an approach must lead to social inclusion and the creation of employment and decent work for all.
The conclusions set out a common vision for achieving decent work, green jobs and sustainable development and provide guiding principles for the greening of economies, enterprises and jobs. Although not an international labour standard or convention that requires ratification by member states, the outcome signified the agreed normative guidance to constituents on how to effectively deal with the implications of climate change and environmental degradation for the labour market and for social protection.
As a follow up, the ILO issued guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all, formulated by a tripartite meeting of 24 experts, held in October in Geneva ILO, b.
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The Guidelines provide detailed suggestions in eight distinct policy areas to support national capacities for the design and implementation of transition measures, with the creation of decent work, poverty eradication and social inclusion. The report brought together fresh analysis at global, national and sectoral levels with regard to job gains, losses and transformations—where possible, disaggregated by gender.
It was a timely contribution, in particular for countries turning their nationally determined commitments NDCs —made under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions—into feasible national strategies and sectoral action plans. In a span of ten years environmental sustainability has become a central policy concern, among others, and a structuring element for a growing number of operational programmes with dedicated staff. ILO constituents too are more conscious of the increasing threats of climate change, pollution and natural resource depletion.
Two successive ILO Directors General over 15 years with a deep concern for environmental sustainability showed strong political commitment to articulate the link with decent work at the highest organisational level. The Secretariat pursued a pragmatic approach combining high external visibility through flagship reports with strong internal advocacy and expanded staff capacity building. A strong emphasis on team work for knowledge sharing and the creation of synergies for the promotion of green jobs—as opposed to building up a stand-alone programme—has enabled a rapid proliferation across key departments and Field Offices.
Finally, a consistent capacity building programme for increasing relevant competencies among staff has facilitated the intended mainstreaming of the green jobs agenda. The required structural changes in economies will entail sectoral shifts and new business models. The effects on the volume and structure of employment will be unequally distributed across segments of labour markets. Supportive policies can cushion and facilitate the adjustment. At the same time, policies that stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship whilst generating well-educated workers can in themselves help trigger a faster transformation.
Those who stand to lose their jobs do not necessarily have the necessary access and capabilities to seize new employment opportunities. From a social equity perspective, the real issue to address is the distributional implications, across and within countries, of the transition to a low-carbon, climate resilient society.
The factors that set this transition apart from past structural changes in society are its global scale and its urgency. The achievement of the emissions reduction target for a climate change scenario not exceeding 2 degrees Celsius will depend on the speed of a successful transition. Its work has helped improve global recognition of the significance of employment and the critical role of the actors of the world of work. As national governments become more engaged in setting the policy framework and designing sector reform in order to attain the emissions reductions each of them has signed up to in the Paris Agreement, they come to realise the intricacies of labour markets and the need to buffer shocks and facilitate the adjustment of enterprises, workers and communities.
Most importantly, the concept has helped overcome the false dilemma of promoting jobs versus saving the planet. Given the expected sectoral shifts in the economy there is a growing demand for anticipating and managing the distributional implications for employment and the equity of environmental policies. Incidentally, these changes will also reinforce domestic and international migration trends, bringing with them yet other policy challenges in terms of national security, resettlement and social inclusion.
This would certainly apply to employment promotion, sustainable enterprise development, entrepreneurship promotion and skills upgrading, etc. But new boundaries will need to be crossed to shape social protection policies and mechanisms in the context of vulnerabilities to climate change, for example, and enlarge the scope and outreach of safety and health in existing hazardous work—such as waste management—and new green economy occupations. The renewed attention to improving the productivity of firms and workers should incorporate a drive to enhance resource productivity, seeking to maximise synergies through employer—worker cooperation, among other approaches.
In a broader context, work on promoting and enforcing labour standards through factory-level compliance along global supply chains could be reinforced by joining similar initiatives on environmental standards—such as Better Cotton. For the ILO, this challenge is essentially a call for ensuring social justice in the evolving transition and chartering the course towards a sustainable future that is decent and green for all. Rosemberg, A. Uzzel eds. Schmitz, H. Scoones, M. Leach and P. Newell eds. Altenburg, T. Assmann eds. Bowen, A. Brown, O. Caldecott, B. Sartor and T. ILO What is a green job?
Montt, G. Novo-Corti, M.
Aceleanu, A. Pollin, R. Callaci The economics of just transition: A framework for supporting fossil fuel-dependent workers and communities in the United States Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Amherst. Inevitably however, the underlying methodologies vary and data gaps remain.here
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Kees van der Ree is an independent consultant on the green economy and green jobs. He is advising international organisations and national and local governments on the implications for employment when adopting low-carbon, resource efficient development strategies. Peer-reviewed journal that promotes cutting-edge research and policy debates on global development. Published by the Graduate Institute Geneva, it links up with international policy negotiations involving Geneva-based organisations.
Contents - Previous document - Next document. Abstract This chapter explores the nexus between climate change and jobs.
Outline 1. Since the late s the experiences of work and employment in the former communist world have been profoundly transformed. Work, Employment and Transition brings together a series of essays by leading international scholars which highlights the varied and complex forms that work and employment…. Jeffries also discusses the general…. Edited by Frank Carter , David Turnock. In this new edition, the progress made in the last decade to solve the environmental problems described in the first edition is assessed. The attempts to bring environmental legislation into line with West European norms is also described.