IRENA and International Labour Organization to cooperate on energy employment


The Directors-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and International Labour Organization (ILO) have signed an agreement to reinforce their cooperation to promote employment and decent jobs for women and men in an energy transition that leaves no one behind.

The workforce of the future will encounter many challenges. A holistic global policy framework is needed in support of education, skills upgrading and retraining, acknowledging the needs and priorities of women, young people, indigenous peoples and marginalized groups. In this context, IRENA and ILO will work together in developing knowledge products and recommendations that support policy frameworks to drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 8.

This agreement will allow both organizations to draw from and complement each other’s strengths in implementing activities of their mutual interest. Their collaboration will include joint research and initiatives, capacity building, training activities, outreach and communications, as well as joint events for knowledge sharing.

“The rapid deployment of renewable energy is indispensable to the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. Making such a transition conducive to decent work creation, with more and better jobs, while ensuring a just transition for all is essential,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Working together, the ILO and IRENA can further promote decent work and social justice in the energy transition, in a comprehensive manner.”

“We have seen significant progress in renewable energy deployment, which is reflected in the continuously increasing number of workers in the sector worldwide, but it is uneven across geographies and communities,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Progress that is not just or inclusive is not sustainable. Achieving a green economy cannot be done without creating opportunities for all, making sure that all groups of society have access to decent, well-paying jobs.”

Both organizations collaborate on several joint initiatives, such as the Sustainable Energy and Jobs Platform (SEJP) under IRENA’s Coalition for Action, ILO’s Just Transition and Green Job Initiatives based on the ILO Tripartite Guidelines for a Just Transition Towards Environmentally Sustainable Economies and Societies for All, and IRENA’s Collaborative Framework on Just and Inclusive Energy Transition.

IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future and serves as a platform for international cooperation, center of excellence, and repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy — including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy — in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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