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The transition to a green economy will inevitably cause job losses in certain sectors as carbon- and resource-intensive industries are scaled-down, but they will be more than offset by new job opportunities.
“Greening with jobs” (1) focuses on changes in the society and changes in jobs the next ten-fifteen years.
Jobs rely heavily on a healthy and stable environment and the services it provides
From a jobs perspective, environmental sustainability is critical. In fact, the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters associated with human activity have already lowered productivity. Annually, between 2000 and 2015, natural disasters caused or exacerbated by humanity resulted in a global loss of working-life years equivalent to 0.8 per cent of a year’s work. Looking ahead, projected temperature increases will make heat stress more common, reducing the total number of working hours by 2.0 per cent globally by 2030 and affecting above all workers in agriculture and in developing countries. The damage associated with unmitigated climate change will, therefore, undermine GDP growth, productivity, and working conditions. Local air, water and soil pollution and other forms of environmental degradation negatively affect workers’ health, income, food and fuel security, as well as their productivity. This negative impact can be reduced by the adoption of specific policy measures, including occupational safety and health measures, social protection policies and other actions designed to adapt to a changing environment.
The Transition to Environmental Sustainability for the World of Work
Currently, 1.2 billion jobs rely directly on the effective management and sustainability of a healthy environment, in particular jobs in farming, fishing and forestry dependent on natural processes such as air and water purification, soil renewal and fertilization, pollination, pest control, the moderation of extreme temperatures, and protection against storms, floods and strong winds. Environmental degradation threatens these ecosystem services and the jobs that depend on them. The effects of environmental degradation on the world of work are particularly acute for the most vulnerable workers. Workers from lower-income countries and Small Island Developing States, rural workers, people in poverty, indigenous and tribal peoples and other disadvantaged groups are affected the most by the impact of climate change. The transition to a green economy is not only urgent for the sake of the planet but is also compatible with improvements in decent work. A key finding of this report is that some countries have succeeded in improving labour market outcomes while at the same time decoupling growth from carbon emissions.
(1) Greening with jobs, WORLD EMPLOYMENT SOCIAL OUTLOOK, 2018, International Labour Organization 2018
Lucubrate Magazine September 2019
Lucubrate Magazine highlights some of the main suggestions from the document “Greening with jobs”, World Employment Social Outlook 2018.
(This is the fourth article in Lucubrate Magazine in the series about future jobs. Find all the articles in the series here)
The picture on the top of the article showes landslide or erosion on rice terrace in Sapa, by kwanchaichaiudom