Green jobs in South Asia

A windmill to irrigate nearby agricultural land in Gwalior, India. © ILO/ Vijay Kutty

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There is been growing acknowledgement that the strategy of ‘grow first, clean up later’, is not sustainable, economically, socially or environmentally. This has led to a growing awareness and willingness to act at national level.

The ILO supports efforts by governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, and other partners to promote environmentally sustainable jobs and development. This has been reflected in the creation of a range of ILO tools and frameworks that approach the green job issue in different ways.

India was one of the first countries in Asia Pacific to collaborate with the ILO on the Green Jobs Initiative (an ILO-UNEP-IOE-ITUC global partnership launched in 2007), through the Multi-Stakeholder Taskforce on Climate Change and Green Jobs, chaired by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The Taskforce works to promote policy coordination, improve understanding of the employment and labour market consequences of the move towards a greener economy, and to guide the ILO’s programme work in India. In addition, India’s Green Jobs Sector Skill Council was set up based on the ILO’s definition of green jobs adapted to the Indian context.

Other important initiatives have included:
  • National studies in five sectors (forestry, watershed development, wind energy, metro transport services and railway transport services) and a state study in Gujarat of the wind energy sector, looking at the impact on the labour market and the potential for green jobs.
  • National study on skills for green jobs.
  • Study in Kaimur district, Bihar, on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme (MGNREGA) and a review of decent work and green jobs.
  • National workshop and briefing sessions for constituents and relevant stakeholders;
  • Green value-chain development pilot programme in the Jabalpur dairy cluster.
  • Development of a green business manual and launch of a training curriculum for the ILO’s Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Programme.

Key resources

  1. Skills for green jobs in India - background country study

    This study aims to get an insight into the major sectors with a green job potential in in India and to further analyze whether and how skills response strategies are incorporated into larger ‘greening’ policies and programmes. The report also provided conclusions and policy recommendations for skill development and strategies, skills provision at national, sectoral, local or enterprise level in green jobs area.

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

    The Guidelines are designed to create decent work on a large scale and ensure that social protection exists where needed. They also include mechanisms for social dialogue among governments, workers and employers' organizations throughout policy making processes at all levels.

  3. Decent Jobs in a Safe Climate: ILO Solutions for Climate Action

    This brief provides a snapshot of selected ILO initiatives, successful practices, tools, instruments and policy guidelines that contribute to the advancement of both climate change and decent work agendas.

  4. Research Guide for Green Jobs

    The research guide points you to the most relevant and reliable sources on Green Jobs.