Academic journal article International Journal of Labour Research

Foreword

Academic journal article International Journal of Labour Research

Foreword

Article excerpt

Over the past decade, an international consensus has emerged on the need to move to a green, low-carbon economy. This has of course been reflected in the discussions and commitments made around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, then more recently at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held earlier this year, and also increasingly in concrete policies in many countries around the world.

Of interest to workers around the world is the growing recognition of the need for a "just transition" to this new economy. This is usually understood as ensuring that workers are provided with the necessary social protection to face the shift in job opportunities, as well as the skills and training needed for the new jobs. But an essential aspect of the concept is, of course, that the new "green" jobs themselves should be "decent", providing respect for workers' fundamental rights at work, health and safety protection, as well as the means to live with dignity.

For all the talk about green jobs, there had been until recently a dearth of research on them, the analysis often remaining at the level of projections and generalizations about the job potential of the shift towards a green economy. There is even the need to have an agreed definition of green jobs for statistical purposes. In order to help fill this void, a workshop entitled "A Green Economy that Works for Social Progress" was convened under the auspices of the Global Union Research Network (GURN) in October 2011. The workshop gathered researchers from several countries, presenting their studies on a certain number of employment-related aspects of the green economy.

This issue of the International Journal of Labour Research is essentially the product ofthat encounter. The articles cover a wide range of experiences in different regions, most notably in Asia but also in Africa and Europe. …

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