Climate change: IPCC report confirms that just transition and green jobs are central to success
ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “This report lays out a stark reality: global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak before 2025, and we have to cut emissions by 43% by 2030 to give us a chance to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
“That’s a lot, but the report says that solar and wind energy have the potential to deliver over one-third of this target.
“It’s unavoidable: the world needs rapid, deep and immediate investments in jobs to build this infrastructure and deliver the cuts to emissions we need.
“At the same time, the report is clear that we have to leave the oil and gas in the ground to survive. We need fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies to be repurposed.
“This requires just transition: a plan to convert these jobs in fossil fuels to jobs in clean energy. Every country, every industry, every company, and every investor must have a plan developed, in partnership with working people and their communities, and must implement it rapidly.
“Our report with the World Resources Institute and the New Climate Economy showed that this shift makes economic and social sense too. Investing in solar power creates 1.5 times as many jobs as investing the same amount of money in fossil fuels.
“The IPPC has sounded a call to action for jobs in renewables. Investors, companies and governments need to make this a reality now. We know that for every ten jobs in renewable energy, there are another five to ten in manufacturing supply chains and, if these are good jobs with just wages, 30 to 35 jobs in the broader community.”
The IPPC report makes clear the transformational potential of just transition, saying it can “build social trust, and deepen and widen support for transformative changes”. It goes on to say: “This is already taking place in many countries and regions, as national just transition commissions or task forces, and related national policies, have been established in several countries. A multitude of actors, networks, and movements are engaged.”
Sharan Burrow added: “We need unions at the table everywhere to build these plans and to guarantee income support for secure pensions, reskilling and re-deployment.”