Mises à jours sur l'action en matière de changement climatique et la transition vers une économie à faibles émissions de carbone

Résumé des développements récents et de l'engagement des employeurs dans l'actualité. (en anglais)

OECD forum “Inclusive solutions for the green transition”

The OECD Green Growth and Sustainable Development (GGSD) Forum, held on 27 November 2018 in Paris, addressed “Inclusive Solutions for the Green Transition: Competitiveness, jobs and social dimensions”. The IOE, with the support of BIAC, participated in the opening session and provided the labour and business perspective The IOE also engaged in particular discussions on jobs and green growth, and skills transition management and delivered key business messages on these topics:

Climate action and the shift to low-carbon economies have consequences on labour markets – jobs will be transformed or substituted. Transition and adaptation measures will create jobs (in renewables, energy efficiency, waste management, etc.). According to the ILO the net effect on job numbers will be positive (estimate of 18 million additional jobs by 2030).

Adaptation policies may result in employment losses but can also act as an incentive for enterprises to develop or adopt more efficient technology. However, the private sector as a solution provider faces increasing uncertainty about the implementation of environmental policies. Developing technologies to decarbonize remains a challenge in several industries. Implementation of new technologies is often not yet cost-effective or even possible. In addition, without growth and job creation, there will be less room for successful protection of the environment and the promotion of decent work.

Business needs a consistent policy framework. As enterprises are the primary source of job creation, a business-friendly environment is a top priority. For businesses, the transition to a low-carbon economy will very much depend on a fit-for-purpose legal framework. Companies also need a clear understanding of the risks of proposed policies in terms of impacts on jobs and competitiveness.

One major challenge is to identify skills that will be needed in the future in order to meet market demands in the transition to greener economies. This calls for policies enabling employability and skills development programmes. While businesses take leadership in re-skilling and upskilling, governments should promote the skills needed to thrive in the face of transformative change.

Another critical issue are the social protection measures that may be needed to enhance resilience, to increase adaptive capabilities, and to facilitate the transition to new jobs. Employers are supportive of safety nets but any proposed mechanism should be affordable, adaptable, and sustainable. The focus should be on the most vulnerable affected by the transition, but any plan of action should be balanced with support needed by impacted enterprises.

Climate Change Conference (COP24)

It must be noted that the topic of a just transition is becoming mainstream. It is also worth noting that it is a priority for Poland, as the designated president of COP24. This focus stems from past experiences of coal workers as well as from interest in the topic from domestic trade unions. The Polish Presidency presenteda Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration to UNFCCC Parties, during the leaders’ summit on 3 December, and it has important references to the ILO guiding frameworks. While it is a non-binding text, its adoption at COP24 could lead to the integration of decent work and just transition in the implementation of climate change commitments at national levels and relevant reporting processes. 

The annual UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) is held in Katowice, Poland on 2-14 December 2018. COP24 is expected to take the decisions necessary to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, and take stock of the collective achievements made by the Parties in their efforts to meet the objectives agreed in Paris in 2015. Many of the IOE members (such as CGEM, FCEF, Keindanren, USCIB) are represented in a number of side-events co-organized by the ILO, also working with other business groups such as BizMEF (Major Economies Business Forum) and ICC, to deliver key business messages.

Finally, we would also like to draw your attention to the currently ongoing West & Central Africa Employers' Organisations Meeting, in Conakry, Guinea (12-13 December) (hyperlink to website event page). This is a meeting co-organised by the IOE and our Member federation from Guinea, the National Council of Guinean Employers (CNP), with the aim of gathering IOE West and Central African member federations on the theme of "Green Economy and Sustainable Development: how to accelerate growth and job creation? Keep an eye out for our report of this meeting, coming soon!

Kind regards,

Pierre Vincensini

Adresse de l'OIE

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