Guterres asks nations to join climate action job initiative

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

New York, Sep 19 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced a new initiative aimed at ensuring decent job creation and protecting livelihoods to boost climate action and urged countries to join the project.

The new ‘Climate Action for Jobs’ initiative, announced on Wednesday, will be presented at the Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit on September 23 at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The initiative has been developed jointly by the Climate Action Summit, together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and other members of the summit’s Social and Political Drivers Action Area, co-led by Spain and Peru.

It provides a roadmap for ensuring that people’s jobs and well-being were at the centre of the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

“Today — along with the ILO and partners Spain and Peru — we are launching the Climate Action for Jobs, an initiative to put job creation and protecting livelihoods at the centre of national climate action plans,” Guterres said.

“Some 1.2 billion jobs or 40 per cent of world employment rely directly on a healthy and stable environment. Business cannot succeed on a planet that fails. Jobs cannot be sustained on a dying planet.

“We will need government, businesses and people everywhere to join these efforts so we can put climate action into a higher gear,” he added.

The new initiative calls on countries to formulate national plans for a just transition, creating decent work as well as green jobs, and also sets out specific measures for inclusion in these plans, including assessing the employment, social, and economic impacts of climate action.

Also implementing skills development and upgrading measures and designing innovative social protection policies to protect workers and vulnerable groups.

According to the ILO, measures to green the production and use of energy will lead to net job gains of some 24 million jobs by 2030.

As emissions have increased to record levels and global temperatures continue to rise, the Climate Action Summit aims to galvanise actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

It will launch concrete initiatives that governments, businesses and people everywhere can join to boost climate action.

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, who will be attending the UN Climate Action Summit, said: “The actors in the world of work — governments, employers and workers — have a key role to play in developing new ways of working that safeguard the environment for present and future generations, eradicate poverty and promote social justice by fostering sustainable enterprises and creating decent work for all.”

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