ILO and IsDB set to release ground-breaking research on climate action scenarios in the MENA region

The research, to be launched at the COP28 conference in Dubai early next month, will serve as an evidence base for policymaking and building robust strategies for governments, workers and employers across the region.

Press release | 21 November 2023
©ILO/Elisa Oddone
BEIRUT (ILO News) - The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) are set to launch the first comprehensive report on decarbonization policy scenarios in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and their social economic and employment impacts.

The report, titled “The social and employment impacts of decarbonization and green industrial growth scenarios for the Middle East and North Africa region,” will be launched on Dec. 3 at the Just Transition Pavilion at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, UAE.

The ILO Regional Office for Arab States, the ILO Action Programme on Just Transition, the ILO International Training Centre and the IsDB held a virtual event to discuss the findings of the research with government, employer and worker representatives from across the MENA region ahead of the report launch. The event was attended by some 80 participants, including officials from ministries of environment.

This report was commissioned during the COP27 meeting hosted last year by Egypt—an event that saw the MENA region's commitment to climate action come to the forefront. The decision to develop a work programme on just transition will be discussed at the upcoming COP28 in Dubai.

Representing Egypt’s Minister of Environment H.E. Dr Yasmine Fouad, Head of the Climate Change Central Department at EEAA and the National Focal point to UNFCCC Engineer Sherif Abdl Rahim addressed the event.

Eng. Abdl Rahim stressed “the need to accelerate the provision of implementation mechanisms, including capacity building, as well as transferring and localizing technologies to developing and affected countries, in order to achieve a just transition, increase interest in implementation, and provide financial resources to enable countries to adopt these mechanisms.”

ILO Deputy Regional Director for Arab States Peter Rademaker said the ground-breaking report does not merely outline the challenges and opportunities of climate policies in our region.

“It serves as an evidence base for policymaking—a solid foundation upon which constituents can build robust strategies and plans for action. The ILO's commitment is to work hand in hand with our partners to ensure a Just Transition,” Rademaker said. “Climate change and global warming are not theoretical, it is affecting many working men and women, their health at work, the skills they need, the jobs they will find. We as the actors of the World of Work must take steps now,” Rademaker added.

Director of the ILO Cairo Office and head of the Decent Work Team for North Africa Eric Oechslin said joint work with the region’s governments and employer and worker organizations will be key in achieving sustainable results.

Together with our constituents, the ILO is committed to intertwining the decent work agenda with environmental stewardship, recognizing that our future prosperity hinges on the sustainable and equitable growth of our economies"

Oechslin said.
“The report builds on the ILO Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all (2015) which provides the central reference for policymaking and a basis for action as endorsed by the International Labour Conference this year. It also constitutes part of the ILO strategy on Just Transition endorsed by the Governing body in November of this year, calling for research on Just transition to inform policy action and coherence,” said Nathalie Bavitch, Partnerships and UN Coherence Officer at ILO.

Syed Husain Quadri, Director of the Resilience and Climate Action Department at the IsDB, said that “whilst IsDB understands that many political, social, and other processes will feed into country dialogue and action on Just Transition, we believe that quantitative studies, such as this one, can stimulate constructive discussion and ultimately help inform us as we engage with our Member Countries on this emerging topic.”

“IsDB looks forward to continuing this discussion on just transition with our member countries and other stakeholders at COP28 and beyond,” said Bradley Hiller, Lead Climate Change Specialist at the IsDB.

The research, developed for the ILO and IsDB by Cambridge Econometrics, was undertaken within the scope of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the ILO and ISDB to promote their shared goals. One of the pillars of the MoU - a just transition that leaves no one behind - paves the way for innovative strategies and actions that support constituents in the MENA region, as they confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities presented by the global movement towards a low-carbon economy.