Green Initiative

Successful 1st Global Forum on Just Transition

In December 2017 the ILO hosted the first Global Forum on Just Transition in partnership with UNFCCC. The Forum aimed to establish a global platform, share national and international experiences on just transition in country contexts, take stock of global research and build momentum for action on climate change.

News | 15 February 2018
The transition to a green economy at its current pace could leave many people behind, explained William Kojo Agyemang-Bonso, Manager, Mitigation and Transparency Support programme, UNFCCC. Countries need to develop and implement their national transition plans with thoughtfulness, taking such risks into account. Transition planning was illustrated with the case of Poland, the host of the upcoming COP24. During its transition toward a more efficient and environmentally friendly economy, Poland has reduced its emission by 30% over the past 30 years. In this context The Special Envoy for Climate Change, Poland’s High Level Champion for COP24, Tomas Chruszczow, emphasised that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are central to the future and to how we implement climate change policies.

The Forum highlighted through its diverse country examples, that a just transition means no stranded workers and no stranded communities. For example the Philippines has embarked on reforms in its mining sector, which will have important implications for jobs. In cooperation with ILO, meetings were organised with trade unions, and a policy framework was agreed for transitioning workers in the mining industries. This policy framework ensures among others proper compensation measures, promotes economic diversification and guarantees social protection and insurance.

A Just transition means also to facilitate private sector’s involvement through social dialogue and tripartite consultation. To take advantage of the new emerging markets, businesses will need to create new employment opportunities requiring new skills. Skills development matters at all levels, including in higher education, soft skills and green skills, as they are closely linked to enterprise and labour market needs.

Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, Commissioner General for Sustainable Development, Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition of France, concluded the Forum with the creation’s proposal of an international coalition within the framework of the SDGs and built upon the Just Transition Guidelines towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all.
The Forum was received with great interest from participants representing governments, employers, workers, international organisations and academia from over 30 countries.