Climate change and jobs

Why does climate change matter for employment ?

Climate change and environmental degradation pose significant challenges to economic growth and employment today, and risks will be greater in the medium-to long-term.

By contrast, if properly managed, climate change action can lead to more and better jobs. Both adaptation to climate change and measures to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions offer opportunities to create new jobs, while securing existing ones.

A transition to a low-carbon, greener economy will imply the creation of new jobs in environmentally friendly production processes and outputs, whereas other jobs will be at risk, in particular in those sectors with fewer options for a transition towards a more sustainable ways of production.

For more information, please see a FAQ on climate change and jobs.


  1. Stockholm

    The ILO and Stockholm+50

    Stockholm+50 is an international meeting convened by the United Nations General Assembly to be held in Stockholm, Sweden from 2-3 June 2022. Stockholm+50 will commemorate the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and celebrate 50 years of global environmental action. The ILO will participate in this important event to drive the implementation of a just transition and the creation of decent work for a green economy.

Key resources

  1. Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all

    The Guidelines are both a policy framework and a practical tool to help countries at all levels of development manage the transition to low-carbon economies and can also help them achieve their INDCs and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

  2. ILC 2013

    Report of the Committee on Sustainable Development, Decent Work and Green Jobs

    The report presents the outcomes of the ILC discussions on sustainable development, decent work and green jobs, held in June 2013 in Geneva. 

  3. Providing clean energy and energy access through cooperatives

    This publication is a collection of case studies on cooperatives in energy production, distribution and consumption as a contribution to the on-going search for ways in which the goal of sustainable Energy for All can be turned into a reality.

  4. Local Investments in Climate Change Adaptation: Green Jobs through Green Works

    A guide for identifying, designing and implementing interventions in support of climate change adaptation at the local level.

  5. Towards an ILO Approach to Climate Change Adaptation

    This working paper explores the implications of climate change, its impacts on the world of work and the need for the work of the International Labour Office to adapt to it. It takes stock of the on-going work and identifies the needs for further development.

  6. The Social Dimensions of Climate Change

    The paper addresses the social dimensions of climate change from a sustainable, equitable development perspective. It aims to broaden and deepen policy-makers’ understanding of the benefits of addressing and incorporating the social dimensions of climate change into climate policies. In doing so, the paper identifies a number of knowledge gaps within the social, human and natural sciences that need to be filled in order to further strengthen policy responses.

  7. Climate Change and Labour: The Need for a "Just Transition"

    Climate change is now widely acknowledged as one of the great – if not the greatest – challenges facing humanity in the coming decades. Through its impact on average temperature, precipitations and sea levels, it will endanger the livelihood of hundreds of millions and impose increasing costs on our societies if nothing is done.

  8. The social and Decent Work dimensions of a new Agreement on Climate Change - A technical brief

    The technical brief highlights the close inter-linkages between climate change and the world of work and discusses entry points for promoting policy coherence between climate and social and labour policies.

  9. The Employment Effects of Climate Change and Climate Change Responses: A Role for International Labour Standards?

    This paper describes how International Labour Standards could be made more relevant to climate change in terms of its impact on employment and the labour market.