The ILO and the United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP22

The annual United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Bab Ighli, Marrakech, Morocco from 7-18 November 2016. This twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) follows the adoption in 2015 of the Paris Agreement on climate change at COP21.

At Marrakesh, attention will focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. COP22 will address a number of issues of high relevance to the ILO.

Key issues for the ILO

The Paris Agreement stressed “the imperative of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities”. In recognition of the fact that countries may be affected not only by climate change, but also by the impacts of the measures taken in response to it, COP21 “emphasized the intrinsic relationship that climate change actions, responses and impacts have with equitable access to sustainable development and eradication of poverty”.

The COP21 decision 11/CP.21 decided to continue and set up an improved forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures. This Forum is convened jointly under the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). It provides a platform allowing Parties to share information, experiences, case studies, best practices and views, and to facilitate assessment and analysis of the impact of the implementation of response measures, with a view to recommending specific actions.

SBI and SBSTA adopted in May 2016 a three-year work programme on the impact of the implementation of response measures comprising of “economic diversification and transformation” and “Just transition of the workforce, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs”.

As an observer organization in the UNFCCC, the ILO is contributing to the implementation of the work programme, through submissions, briefings at workshops of UNFCCC Parties, and technical inputs provided through the UN Climate Secretariat. ILO contributions draw on the Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all, adopted by the ILO Governing Body in November 2015. The ILO provided technical inputs, review and comments on a UNFCCC Technical Paper on just transition of the workforce, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs.

In addition, discussions on national adaptation plans, the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts, capacity building in developing countries, and climate change and gender will be of importance to the ILO given links to social protection, employment-intensive programmes, skills and enterprise development, labour migration, indigenous and tribal people and climate change insurance.