What are Climate Jobs?
Climate Jobs are:
- New jobs;
- In the public sector created in the optic of public service;
- Jobs that have a direct impact on cutting GHG emissions in the key sectors for the transition, such as energy, transport, construction, forest management and agriculture;
- With a guarantee of professional requalification and priority to employment for workers in polluting sectors;
- Dignified jobs, with fair wages and conditions, respecting the rules of environmental protection, hygiene, health and safety at work.
We have to stop climate change, and we have to do it quickly. To do it, we will need 150 million new jobs globally, each year for twenty years, for at least twenty years. Most of these jobs will be in renewable energy, construction, and transport.
About three quarters of the warming of the world comes directly from burning fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas. To hold back climate change, we need to stop burning those fuels. To do that, we need to have another way to heat and power the world. So we need to:
- Cover the world with renewable energy like wind and solar power to make all our electricity.
- Switch from cars and to buses and trains, and run almost all transport on renewable energy.
- Insulate and convert all homes and buildings to use less energy and to heat with renewable energy.
- Convert and redesign industry to use less energy and to use renewable electricity wherever possible.
There are thousands of other things we need to do. But these four things will make most of the difference to cutting emissions from fossil fuels.
Then we will also need to cut emissions in other sectors, such as farming and land use, which produce about a quarter of global emissions. To do so we need to change the way we farm, stop cutting down old forests, and plant new forests. Here too there will be many jobs.
Watch Jonathan Neale explain in this video what do we mean with Climate Jobs and learn more about what does it mean to fight for climate jobs: https://www.globalclimatejobs.org/what-are-climate-jobs-a-video-by-jonathan-neale/
What are Climate Jobs Campaigns?
Climate Jobs Campaigns bring together the demands of the climate movements and of the labour movements by proposing massive public investment in the creation of Climate Jobs, advocating for a people’s plan for a just transition. Globally, Climate Jobs as a social movement campaign precedes the Green New Deal discussions and is now part of that conversation.
There are local climate jobs campaigns in several countries all over the world, bringing together climate justice groups, unions, NGOs and other civil society organizations, and fighting for the implementation of mass government programs for Climate Jobs and Just Transition, which can tackle the socio-economic and climate and ecological crises.
What are Climate Jobs Programs?
The campaigns produce their own reports on Climate Jobs Programs that explain which jobs should be created, in each sectors, doing what kind of work, and cutting how may emissions. They serve as a Blueprints for stopping Climate Change.
These are powerful political tools and a “mobilizing strategy”, as they can show us what we are fighting for. They are directed towards social justice, while informed by climate science.
The failure of current climate policies can also be seen through this angle. The Paris Agreement at the global level, the European Green Deal European Union, most programs at national levels are insufficient in climate terms and don’t consider employment and working conditions. These plans aim to develop climate policies, then see the impacts on employment, and only then consult civil society and trade unions. We propose the opposite: a social plan of our own, which puts people and jobs at the centre, and that guides us in the creation of climate policies.
You can see as an example the Report from the One Million Climate Jobs from the UK, the report from Portugal and the one about Sines, a Portuguese town.
Arguments for Climate Jobs
We are facing several crises at the same time. Among these, the climate crisis and the social crises directly affect the majority of the world’s population. We are told that solving them at the same time is impossible, but decarbonisation our economies will demand a lot of work!
We need to build infrastructure for renewable energy, adapt transportation systems and infrastructure to new energy, improve the insulation of buildings, adopt other forms of sustainable agriculture, monitor, and plan the forest and much more.
New Climate Jobs are at the heart of these crises. These are new jobs, created with the aim of fighting global warming.
Likewise, the National Health Service exists to ensure all necessary work and public access to
health, a “National Climate Service” must be created to ensure all the
work necessary for the transition to a habitable planet, as well as public access to its
It is essential to involve civil society in building a government plan for Climate Jobs, and in particular to involve trade unions and other labour organizations in creating plans for just transitions.
We do not want an accounting or cosmetic exercise. It is not a question of taking existing jobs and renaming them “green” jobs. We know that all jobs that exist today, in all areas of society (including those most closely linked to the environment) have not been and will not be enough to halt climate change. Therefore, Climate Jobs must be new jobs created directly with this objective in mind: to effectively combat global warming.
Why Public Jobs?
Creating subsidies and incentives so that companies have an interest in creating “green” jobs, or waiting for the demands of the planet to” arrive” to the markets and to become profitable has several problems:
- companies are oriented towards profit rather than social justice, and their interests are to a large extent opposed to those of the people who work (as the current situation of precarity in which millions of works are around the world shows us) and clash with the demands of the planet. The world’s largest companies (especially the petrochemical and automobile industries) are precisely those most responsible for global warming;
- even if these separate interests strangely align, there is no reason to believe that the transformation we need would happen fast enough to stop global warming global warming;
- to ensure an effective transition and also to ensure that no one loses their job due to the transition, careful coordination is needed. In contrast, incentives and subsidies to companies or markets operate in a decentralised way: each company acts for itself, without concern for the whole;
- it is essential to ensure that people do not lose access to basic resources such as energy, transport, heating, food or water (whether due to high prices, closure of local services, or other factors), even if securing them does not generate profit.
For all these reasons, it is essential that the initiative to create, coordinate and manage Climate Jobs is public. The logic is similar to that of the National Health Service, which exists to ensure
all necessary work and public access to health care. Similarly, something like a National Climate Service should be created Climate Service, which ensures all the necessary work for the transition to a habitable planet, as well as public access to its resources.
A governmental public climate jobs programme will be a strong signal to the private sector and must of course be accompanied by public policies that ensure a just transition in all areas of the
areas of the economy. Just as a strong National Health Service ensures a decent life for people and supports the whole economy, Climate Jobs will also improve living and working conditions for the and working conditions for the entire population.
It is essential to involve civil society in the construction of a government plan for
plan, and in particular the trade unions and labour associations. and labour associations.
Firstly, because these are the organisations that represent those who will make this huge transformation and they will be the ones to monitor working conditions and labour rights. But also because we want to ensure a fair transition for those who work in carbon-intensive sectors intensive sectors: the guarantees of requalification and decent jobs on paper become truth if we involve people in the whole process. process.
Indeed, the failure of current climate policies can also be seen through this angle. The Paris Agreement at the global level, the European Green Deal European Union, most plans at national levels are insufficient in climate terms and don’t consider employment and working conditions. These plans aim to develop climate policies, then see the impacts on employment, and only then consult civil society and trade unions. We propose the opposite: a social plan of our own, which puts people and jobs at the centre, and that guides us in the creation of climate policies.
Next steps for the Global Climate Jobs Network
We have just hosted a Global Conference and are now on the way of preparing the next steps and building up from this event. We want to expand the reach and support for the campaign, to support the creation of new campaigns strengthen the existing campaigns, empower local struggles for Just Transition, and enhance coordination among the global network. To do so, we propose to:
- Set up workshops on Climate Jobs and Just Transition in collaboration with climate, labour and other activists, in different parts of the world. These workshops will aim to empower and provide tools for building and strenthening local, regional or national struggles for Just Transitions and Climate Jobs. These would have as target participants activits, union members, workers, community members and organizers. The idea is that these will be a space (1) to explore the concept of Just Transition and its historical framework; (2) to dwell on the differences between real just transitions, and the transformations labeled as “just transitions” that are currently taking place; (3) to explore the technical, political, and social challenges, in each context, of implementing a Just Transition and the solutions to these challenges: (4) to strategize and organize.
- Provide support for writting national and regional reports on Climate Jobs.
- Organize at the end of 2023 the next Global Climate Jobs Conference.
2020 Lisbon Declaration on Climate Jobs and Just Transition
Read here the Declaration signed on Climate Jobs and Just Transition after an international meeting and training in January 2022, in Lisbon: https://www.globalclimatejobs.org/2022-lisbon-declaration-on-climate-jobs-and-just-transition/