For every step the global economy makes towards lower emissions and a safer future, workers in high carbon industries become more at risk of underemployment and redundancy. Ensuring that worker training moves in lockstep with the economy’s low-carbon transition is therefore essential, not only for the livelihoods of those workers, but for keeping the social fabric of nations intact and ensuring political support for rapid decarbonisation is maintained. It was this challenge that formed a central narrative at COP24 last December in Katowice. Pushed by the Polish Presidency – concerned, rightly, about the fate of the nation’s influential coal industry – and eerily echoed by a backdrop of riots in Paris initially sparked by opposition to new carbon taxes, nations at the UN climate summit promised to do everything possible to “ensure a decent future for workers impacted by the transition while working to ensure sustainable development and community renewal”. The Silesia Declaration stressed the “just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs are crucial to ensure an effective and inclusive transition to low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development”.
Business Green 30th Jan 2019 read more »