By Akanimo Sampson
The International Advisory Board of the Climate Action for Jobs Initiative is calling for decisive action to tackle climate change and create decent work.
The Climate Action for Jobs is a result of the Climate Action Summit that the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, convened in September 2019.
At the Summit, 46 countries made a commitment to formulate national plans for a just transition, placing decent work and a just transition for all at the centre of action to address climate change, and drawing on the ILO Guidelines for a Just Transition.
In December 2019, the UN Secretary-General, the ILO Director-General, government leaders, and the International Organisation of Employers and the International Trade Union Confederation launched the Climate Action for Jobs Initiative at the UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid (COP25).
Meeting for the first time since being formed, following the 2019 UN Climate Summit , members of the Advisory Board endorsed a 10-year strategy to put people’s jobs and well-being at the centre of the transition to carbon-neutral and climate-resilient economies.
Its three main aims are: To implement climate change measures that deliver decent jobs and advance social justice; support countries so they can move towards a sustainable future; and take action to ensure an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the Board highlighted the need for urgent, coherent and coordinated action to address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis.
They pointed to the unique opportunity to build back better, more sustainable and inclusive economies and societies that are more resilient to future shocks, through the six areas of action that the UN Secretary-General has put forward for a climate-positive recovery.
The high-level members of the Advisory Board include ministers of environment, labour and development planning from Argentina, Costa Rica, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Samoa, Senegal and Spain; leaders of employers’ and workers’ organisations and senior officials of the United Nations and development finance institutions.
The Board elected as co-chairs Ms Teresa Ribera, Fourth Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge of Spain and Mr Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, Minister of Commerce Industry and Labour/Minister of Public Enterprises of Samoa.
ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, says “we stand at a critical moment in the pursuit of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , with a decade of action that must be decisive.
‘’We need to make the Climate Action for Jobs Initiative a meaningful contribution in this last leg of the race towards the SDGs. We are all aware of our responsibilities in that regard.”
The Climate Action for Jobs Initiative provides countries with tools for assessing investment and policy options for a recovery that focuses on jobs and a transition to a sustainable economy.
It supports planning, policy-making, market development, knowledge and innovation for a sustainable future, guided by the ILO Just Transition Guidelines and ILO Recommendation No. 205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience , and in accordance with the United Nations Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Key to the Initiative is a new Just Transition Innovation Facility. This provides a space to source innovative ideas and turn them into effective, and scalable solutions to climate change.
Recommendation R205 – Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilienc…
The Facility is designed to identify high potential solutions for addressing specific challenges, strengthening country intervention models, supporting pilot projects, and sharing lessons learned internationally.