You are here

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Are “Green” Jobs Decent?

By Lene Olsen, et. al. - International Labour Organization, 2012

This issue of the Journal focuses on the question of whether the jobs that are emerging in the efforts to reach sustainable development can be described as “decent”.

A series of case studies is presented which demonstrates that this seems to be far from the case. While these results remain very partial, this should be seen as an important reminder that “green” employment is not decent by definition and that like in any other sector, green jobs require careful stewardship from public authorities to ensure that workers are able to exercise their rights. This is all the more the case given the central role government policy plays in creating the enabling conditions for these industries to emerge and thrive.

Read the report (Link).

Towards a Greener Economy: The Social Dimensions

By International Institute for Labour Studies - International Labour Organization, November 16, 2011

The European Commission and the International Labour Organization have combined efforts in reaction to the deep crisis that hit the global economy in 2008. The aim of this joint project is to examine policies that will lead not only to a quicker recovery but also to a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and equitable global economy. This is particularly relevant given the uneven and fragile nature of the recovery process across and within countries. These efforts have culminated in the publication of two Synthesis Reports. The first report examines the origins of the crisis and provides an overview of immediate policy responses across both developed and developing economies; the second discusses green policies and labour market issues related to this necessary long-term economic transformation. Both reports are based on a series of technical discussion papers.

This second report aims to promote a clearer understanding of the nature of the green economy and its implications for labour markets, especially the reallocation of jobs from high- to low-polluting sectors. It shows that a double dividend in terms of increased decent work opportunities and a greener economy is possible, provided that complementarities between environmental, economic and social policies are adequately exploited. The report discusses the green policy measures that EU countries are currently undertaking, with a view to identifying any gaps in the policy mix. It also presents model estimates on the likely transmission mechanisms arising from these measures.

Read the report (Link).

Climate Change: Key issues for the Fire and Rescue Service

By staff - Fire Brigades Union, March 25, 2010

Climate change is a critical issue for the fire and rescue service in the UK. It is the greatest environmental challenge facing humanity at present. But government policy in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is also reshaping the political and industrial terrain around tackling climate change.

The FBU is committed to political and industrial campaigning on climate change. The union will campaign within the fire and rescue service and work with labour movement bodies and in the wider community to tackle one of the most fundamental questions of our age.

Scientists predict that the UK climate will become warmer, with high summer temperatures more frequent and very cold winters increasingly rare. Average summer temperatures are expected to rise between 3°C and 4°C by the 2080s. Winters are expected to be wetter and summers drier. Sea levels will rise around most of the UK and there may be more frequent storm surges. Climate change will affect all regions of the UK, though not to the same degree.

Climate change will increase the risk of grassland and forest fires. It will increase the risk of floods, including from surface water, rivers and from the sea. Climate change will affect the supply and availability of water and may give rise to more extreme weather events.

These hazards will have implications for the working conditions of firefighters. Climate change will require significant changes to appliances, to the equipment available to firefighters, to training, greater awareness of firefighters’ health implications, to pumping capability and water use and increased call centre capacity.

The UK fire service is not yet prepared for the enormous implications of climate change. The service needs the staff, resources and equipment to tackle grassland fires, floods, drought and storms. There is no logic to job cuts and shutting fire stations when these risks are likely to increase in the years ahead. Firefighting is a green job and firefighters can play a vital role in helping society adapt to climate change.

Government policy on climate change and the fire and rescue service is inadequate. There is a pressing need for a statutory duty to respond to flooding events, backed by funding and resources. The increased risks from heat waves, including wild fires need to fully understood and acted upon. The fire and rescue service should be included in government initiatives on climate change, rather than excluded or forgotten as it appears at present.

FBU reps believe that the fire and rescue service can do much more to reduce its carbon footprint. Fire and rescue authorities are not doing enough on energy efficiency, transport and recycling. Much more can be done to adapt to and prepare for extreme weather. But cuts, penny-pinching and a lack of training are holding back firefighters from tackling these issues.

FBU reps need time off and facilities to act on climate change. The trade union movement is campaigning for legal rights for union environment reps. More could be achieved through national and local agreements, brigade committees, inspections and green events. The fire and rescue service should actively encourage firefighters to participate in the process of tackling climate change.

Read the text (PDF).

Pages

The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.