Much as there has been a lot of talk lately around the Climate issue and the need for all countries to step up to address the challenges posed by climate change, there has, unfortunately, not been the same level of focus devoted to working out the correlation between Climate and the future jobs scenario.
Amid all the hype and hoopla around some countries announcing ambitious climate goals to demonstrate their commitment to the climate cause, discussions around the link between Climate and jobs, whatever little of those have been held so far, have tended to revolve around generalizations.
With some arguing that more nations going the whole hog on the net zero issue may lead to a greater number of jobs being created than those being destroyed. And some others contending that exactly the opposite would happen if a larger number of countries (including a few developing countries) resorted to grandstanding on net zero.
Matters have not been helped by the fact that there have not been too many companies/business associations/influential industry leaders, either, who have bothered to spell out the connection between Climate and jobs. Many corporate groups, including those in developing countries, have recently been too busy highlighting their own net zero ambitions (with target dates for achieving this goal sometimes set for years before 2050) to spend time articulating their positions on how they see the Climate issue impacting jobs.
Given this backdrop, it is imperative that individual nation-states immediately get down to assessing how the Climate issue is likely to have a bearing on jobs in their own geographies. And, thereafter, make the findings of such studies available in the public domain to make it unequivocally clear to their citizens how employment possibilities may be impacted by climate change.
Carrying out data-backed studies (by also roping in the help of industry experts, civil society leaders, and reputed think tanks for this purpose) could help countries determine whether they could leverage the heightened climate focus to create (in both the white and blue-collar categories) more and better new jobs than the ones likely to be destroyed. Apart from being able to arrive at a finer understanding of how to take care of the interests of the workforce that would feel the maximum impact of climate change, and the mechanism that needs to be put in place to ensure that companies are living up to their end of the bargain in addressing climate change.
Not just that. A detailed analysis of the correlation between climate change and jobs in their own territories could come in most handy for countries (especially developing ones) while conducting negotiations on the Climate issue, including at the COP26 meeting to be held in Glasgow this November.
As part of their commitments to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), countries have pledged to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all” (UN SDG 8). Hopefully, countries would not forget this fact in their enthusiasm to emerge as Climate evangelists.