Governments at COP26 pledge support for just transition

photo: Flickr/COP26

Governments at COP26 declared support for just transition through green growth, decent work and economic prosperity as economies move towards net-zero emissions.

The declaration, signed by fourteen governments and the European Commission, pledged to support six steps in support of the conditions for just transition:

  1. Support for workers in the transition to new jobs.
  2. Support and promote social dialogue and stakeholder engagement.
  3. Develop economic strategies that include wider economic and industrial support beyond clean energy.
  4. Promote local, inclusive, and decent work.
  5. Support for human rights in global supply chains and the importance of building climate resilience.
  6. Report on just transition efforts in biennial transparency reports and NDCs.

Addressing COP26 delegates at the launch of the declaration, Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary, said: “We all know we are in a race against time for a sustainable future for both people and the planet. Trade unions are committed to climate ambition designed as a just transition – there must be no stranded workers and no stranded communities.

"Climate-friendly jobs with just transition: this is the key to building trust and support at the speed required.

"We need national jobs plans and company jobs plans agreed through social dialogue in line with the ILO Just Transition Guidelines.”

Research from the ITUC, the World Resources Institute and the New Climate Economy shows that climate-friendly investments create more jobs than unsustainable investments on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

“To put just transition into practice, we need job plans – from governments and companies.

"South Africa embodies a model for other governments to follow, with national jobs plan negotiated through social dialogue, a work and community impact study from electricity company Eskom and now negotiations with unions for an aligned plan for jobs – and for communities affected by the transition.

"With commitments from governments and companies in social dialogue with workers and their unions, we will leave no one behind. We’re in a race against time to stabilise the planet and the global economy, but with jobs and just transition, we can build hope for people and communities,” said Sharan Burrow.
Read the declaration "Supporting the Conditions for a Just Transition Internationally" here.