The scale of our climate crisis is more visible than ever. Under current global climate pledges, the world is on track for 3°C of warming. At 3°C, we would see a significant drop in food production, an increase in urban heat waves, longer droughts, fiercer hurricanes and more devastating wildfires. We must keep the promise of the Paris Agreement. We must radically raise ambition to stay safely below 1.5°C of warming.
This year marks an especially urgent time do so as countries are due to boost the ambition of their targets under the Paris Agreement by 2020. To rapidly accelerate this action, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, will host a Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September.
The Secretary-General also announced just transition must be a major theme of the Summit, asking both business and governments to commit to transitioning to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy in such a way that ‘no one is left disadvantaged by necessary climate action.’
Green jobs are growing—fast
Building an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of this century, as the Paris Agreement envisions, will require significant technological, social and economic transformations. And it will also bring significant opportunities.
The New Climate Economy’s 2018 report Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century found that shifting to a low-carbon economy could create a US $26 trillion growth opportunity and 65 million new jobs by 2030. We must ensure these transformations bring about a just transition, where new jobs are green and decent and communities are thriving and resilient.
What can businesses do?
In collaboration with their workers and governments, companies can support a just transition by ensuring that the jobs they create as they decarbonise their business models are good, decent jobs. Renewable energy developers and procurers took a first step toward this imperative at last year’s Global Climate Action Summit. And now, ahead of the Secretary-General’s Summit, a wider group of businesses is taking this commitment further.
Private sector leaders, including Orsted and Enel, are demonstrating their commitment to a just transition by supporting the Business Pledge for Just Transition and Decent Green Jobs and committing to four key labour standards across their global businesses:
- Social dialogue with workers and their unions.
- Workers rights, including the ILO core labour standards and ILO occupational health and safety standards.
- Social protection, including pension and health.
- Wage guarantees*
*Including prevailing wage rates for skilled workers in the relevant industries.
Find out more about the Pledge here, including the full pledge text and how your business can sign up. Ørsted and Enel are among the first signatories.
How does this make impact?
This Pledge signals a company’s commitment to build decent green jobs in every country it operates in, supporting the just transition of the global economy. Additionally, it encourages companies to implement this commitment across their policies and operations to spur the development of green jobs. From human resources and procurement policies to collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts, companies taking this Pledge ensure they’re holistically transforming the way they do business today, for a better tomorrow.
Questions before you commit?