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ILO welcomes COP26 Just Transition Declaration

The ILO plays key role in developing the Just Transition Declaration, agreed at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow.

News | 05 November 2021
© COP26
GENEVA (ILO News) – More than 30 nations, including core coal producing countries, have signed a Declaration committing them to strategies that ensure that workers, businesses and communities are supported as countries transition to greener economies.

The Just Transition Declaration, agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference in Scotland, recognizes 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.

It reflects the ILO’s 2015 Guidelines for a Just Transition, which outline the necessary steps towards well-managed environmentally sustainable economies and societies, decent work for all, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty.

Signatories to the Declaration are the United States, United Kingdom, all 27 EU member states, Norway, Canada and New Zealand. It follows on from pledges made at the summit by more than 40 countries to shift away from coal.

For the ILO, a just energy transition is urgent, indispensable and possible. [...] There is clear evidence that there will be more gains for the economy and people than losses."

Vic Van Vuuren, Director of the ILO’s Enterprises department
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 organizations.

In the Declaration countries commit to:
  • Support workers, communities and regions that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the move away from carbon-intensive economies.
  • Promote social dialogue and engagement between governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives, and other groups affected by the transition to green economies.
  • Implement economic strategies that support clean energy, foster resource-efficient economic growth, create income and decent jobs, and reduce poverty and inequality.
  • Create decent jobs for people in their local areas, coupled with reskilling and training, and social protection for those in need.
  • Ensure that existing and new supply chains create decent work for all, including the most marginalized, with respect for human rights.
The ILO will support the implementation of the Declaration through the promotion and application of International Labour Standards.

“For the ILO, a just energy transition is urgent, indispensable and possible,” said Director of the ILO’s Enterprises department, Vic Van Vuuren. “A just transition is about maximizing 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 ensure that comprehensive and coherent policy frameworks are implemented so that no-one is disadvantaged by the transition to greener economies.”