Economic recovery and Green Jobs: win-win for development, climate and labour?

In order to discuss whether a green recovery from the financial crisis and green jobs are a win-win for development climate and labour Guy Ryder (General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)), Pavan Sukhdev (Project Leader for UNEP's “Green Economy” initiative) and high level officials are inviting to the debate

ILO Side Event in the World of Work Pavilion: UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP 15)- Copenhagen (Denmark), 15 December 18:00-19:30


During the last few months many countries have approved the so-called stimulus packages, with a view to lead these countries towards a quick economic recovery. Many of these countries have taken this opportunity to shift towards a more sustainable development path, by reducing GHG emissions, producing renewable energies and other environmentally-friendly measures while creating Green Jobs and tackling social inequalities.

Developed and developing countries around the world were facing a multidimensional crisis prior to the economic downturn: from the social side unemployment, working poor and raising income inequalities were some of these challenges, while from an environment point of view, climate change, biodiversity loss, and air and water pollution are only some examples.

As a result, the world is now witnessing how these social and environmental crisis are not only increasing existing social and economic vulnerabilities but also preventing countries to achieve a real sustainable development.

After more than a year of putting in place these recovery policies, there are some questions which may be answered: Have these measures succeeded in addressing social, environmental and economic crisis? Are the new Green Jobs created reaching those who need them most? Could be they considered as Green and Decent jobs? In summary, are these countries really shifting towards a more sustainable economy?

In order to give a response to these questions the side event will review the social and environmental dimensions of some of the main polices undertaken by countries around the world to deal with the economic crisis. The case of a developed country –Finland- and a developing country- South Africa- will be presented. The perspective, role and proposals of trade unions in dealing with this multiple crisis will also be explained.

Tentative programme:

  • 5’ Welcome and introduction: Sachiko Yamamoto (ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific)
  • 10’ Technical input: Green elements of the recovery packages and their effects on employment and sustainability
  • Option 1: Pavan Sukhdev (Economist, Project leader, Green Economy UNEP)
  • Option 2: ETUI (Presentation of the report “An assessment of fiscal stimulus packages by EU Member States in response to the economic crisis”)
  • 10´ Sachiko Yamamoto: ILO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific; The contribution of the Global Jobs Pact to a green, sustainable recovery. Policies and measures taken by Asian countries; the ILO green jobs programme in the region.
  • 10´ Guy Ryder: ITUC ; Why unions should get involved in environmental policies; Facing the economic and social crisis: proposals from unions around the world.
  • 10´ Option 1: Finish Minister of Labour: Green jobs from the perspective of a developed country: The challenge of reducing GHG emissions, reduce environmental impacts and improve equity and jobs in Finland.
  • Option 2: The case of Australia (Climate Change Minister)
  • 10´Economic Affairs Minister of South Africa: The case of South Africa: Green jobs as a response to address inequality reduce poverty; create decent jobs while reducing environmental impacts.
  • Q&A: 30 minutes