Pacific Islands delegates talk green economy

By Ivamere Nataro ,

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Participants of the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.) workshop hold up a sign to signify the 100 years anniversary of the I.L.O. next year.

Participants of the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.) workshop hold up a sign to signify the 100 years anniversary of the I.L.O. next year.

Representatives from 11 Pacific Island countries are gathering at the Orator Hotel in Aleisa for a three-day International Labour Organisation workshop. 

The workshop on “Knowledge sharing dialogue on just transition, decent work and climate change resilience in the Pacific Islands” is a topic of high importance at this critical time for the Small Island Developing States in the region, according to United Nations Resident Coordinator, Simona Marinescu. 

“So what we want to achieve here is discuss how climate change, adapting to climate change and mitigating climate change would impact on labour market,” Ms. Marinescu told the Samoa Observer.

“So you have jobs that still employ a lot of natural resources that are not green in nature. We are still going to work with existing jobs to ensure that they can green without laying out a large number of people. So it is not an easy process, but it is possible.” 

Through the course of the workshop, delegates hope to establish a platform to share best practice and common goals to eliminate work models that contribute to climate change and reduce impact of climate change on employment. 

 Ms. Marinescu said the success of the transition depends on the capacity of key actors – governments, unions, employers and development partners – to align their efforts towards greening economies and employment, while building resilience in the face of growing climate-related vulnerability. 

In its 2018 Greening with Jobs report, the I.L.O. stated that “the transition to a green economy will inevitably cause job losses in certain sectors as carbon- and resource-intensive industries are scaled down. But these will be more than offset by new job opportunities. Measures taken in the production and use of energy, for example, will lead to job losses of around 6 million as well as the creation of some 24 million jobs. A transition to agricultural sustainability and a circular economy will result in more and often better jobs”. 

“The U.N. here in Samoa, we would like to enable the work done here and while we move to solar energy, we ensure that jobs in sectors that are still using fossil fuel will not disappear, but shift towards a new business model,” Ms. Marinescu said. 

The workshop continues. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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