World leaders debate decent work, social inclusion at COP 26
The need to create decent work for people in their local areas, coupled with reskilling and training, and social protection for those in need, among others, were lead discussions agreed at the COP26 Just Transition Declaration United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference held in Scotland.
The Just Transition Declaration recognised the need to ensure that no one is left behind in the transition to net zero economies – particularly those working in sectors, cities and regions reliant on carbon-intensive industries and production.
Director of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Enterprises Department, Vic Van Vuuren, which stated that the ILO welcomed COP26 Just Transition Declaration, said it reflected the ILO’s 2015 guidelines for a just transition, which outlined the necessary steps towards well-managed environmentally sustainable economies and societies, decent work for all, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty.
He said for the ILO, a just energy transition was urgent, indispensable and possible.
According to him, there was clear evidence that there would be more gains for the economy and people than losses.
In the declaration, countries commit to supporting workers, communities and regions that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the move away from carbon-intensive economies.
They commit to promoting social dialogue and engagement between governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives, and other groups affected by the transition to green economies.
They also commit to implementing economic strategies that support clean energy, foster resource-efficient economic growth, create income and decent jobs, and reduce poverty and inequality as well as ensuring that existing and new supply chains create decent work for all, including the most marginalised, with respect for human rights.
He stated that the ILO would support the implementation of the declaration through the promotion and application of International Labour Standards.
He said: “For the ILO, a just energy transition is urgent, indispensable and possible. A just transition is about maximising economic and social gains, while effectively managing the risks in the economic, technological and social transformation.
“There is clear evidence that there will be more gains for the economy and people than losses. This declaration will help to ensure that comprehensive and coherent policy frameworks are implemented so that no-one is disadvantaged by the transition to greener economies.”
He added that the ILO, under the framework of the COP26 Energy Transition Council, played a key role in drafting the declaration, which was launched at a COP26 event that included representatives from coal producing countries, multilateral agencies and non-governmental organisations.
More than 30 nations, including core coal producing countries, signed the declaration committing them to strategies that ensured that workers, businesses and communities are supported as countries transition to greener economies.