ILO Applauds COP27 Progress on Social Dimensions of Climate Change
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has praised the achievements of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which concluded on November 20 after two weeks of deliberation. The summit, also called COP27, led to a historic deal to pay "loss and damage" funding to countries that are weak and have been hit hard by climate disasters.
Governments at the meeting also agreed on a set of decisions that show they are still committed to keeping the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Moustapha Kamal Gueye, the ILO's Global Coordinator for Green Jobs, said that the results of COP27 show that the world can work together to implement policies to fight the effects of climate change. The conclusions include paths to a just transition based on meaningful and effective social dialogue and recognising the role of employment policies like social protection in dealing with the effects of climate change.
Since the beginning of the COP process in 1995, the ILO has been at the forefront of efforts to include the social aspects of climate change in key international climate policy processes. During the conference, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the ILO oversaw more than 35 thematic events in a Just Transition Pavilion. This pavilion was built to bring attention to the social aspects of climate change transition and the importance of building a fair transition into adaptation and mitigation processes.
The Pavilion hosted events like the launch of the "Green Jobs for Youth Pact," which aims to help close the skills gap for young people, and the release of the "Just Transition Finance Tool on Banking and Investment Activities," which was made in collaboration with the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics to help financial institutions build a "just transition" into their operations.
During COP27, several ILO knowledge products were released. These included a Just Transition Policy Brief series and a new report on the role businesses can play in the green transition. The Just Transition Policy Brief series was made to help policymakers and experts understand how to use the ILO's Guidelines for a Just Transition towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All.
The Just Transition Knowledge Hub, which was in the Pavilion, was a place where delegates could talk about how to put policies and practices into action at the company, sector, national, and regional levels. Other events brought up the importance of social dialogue as well as issues related to social inclusion and vulnerable groups, such as women, indigenous people, migrants, and people with disabilities, who may be affected by the transition more than others.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the European Commission, along with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), and the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted the Just Transition Pavilion. It was a meeting place for hundreds of delegates, including people from international organisations, governments, organisations for workers and employers, the private sector, universities, and youth groups.
Joost Korte, Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, said, “we are extremely happy that with the colleagues of the International Labour Organisation we set up this first ever Just Transition Pavilion. It is an important topic that we are discussing and is, what I hope, going to be a very important and interesting process for all of us.”
"The global labour movement mobilised at COP27 to have an ambitious climate agreement. We need a labour-focused just transition with social dialogue, social protection, and labour rights at its heart. The ILO Just Transition Pavilion contributed to this effort with its many activities and high visibility," said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.
“The ILO did a great job with the first ever Just Transition Pavilion at COP27, we're proud to have been part of this effort to create a highly visible space for convening employers and workers and promoting their experiences, challenges, and priorities,” said Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General of the International Organisation of Employers.