Joint statement on UNFCCC work programme on just transition pathways
Organizations working with business, financial institutions and employer organizations on just transition share expectations for the new UNFCCC work programme on just transition pathways.
To Parties attending UNFCCC COP28,
We welcome the establishment at COP27 of a new UNFCCC work programme on just transition for discussion of pathways to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, as well as the decision to convene annual high-level ministerial roundtables on just transition, beginning at COP28. This emphasizes that people-centered climate action is essential to ensure social cohesion and increase the societal buy-in required for an accelerated and sustainable transition to a net-zero economy—within planetary boundaries and at a pace aligned with science. We also acknowledge the publication of an Informal Note1 following SB58, which can serve as a solid foundation for the upcoming negotiations.
As organizations working with the private sector on just transition, we believe this new work programme can be instrumental in advancing and maximizing business contributions to the just transition. All businesses and financial institutions—as employers, investors, and drivers of economic growth and job creation—have an important and unique role to play in supporting a just transition, regardless of size or sector. They also have a strong business case to do so. Systemic inequalities that can be exacerbated by climate action present a business risk. Mitigating these risks is essential for business to strengthen operating environments, build resilient supply chains, secure social license to operate and continue to access capital.
The companies and financial institutions we work with are taking action to transition to net zero but need coherent policy environments, not only to accelerate and drive investment into the transition, but also to better enable them to manage the societal impacts of it. We ask that Parties recognize the urgency of operationalizing the new work programme on just transition pathways and agree, at COP28, on the scope and modalities for its implementation. We recommend that the new work programme:
- is founded on meaningful social dialogue with employers’ and workers’ representatives;
- allows for transparent stakeholder participation, including workers, business and civil society;
- seeks to advance decent work and promote greater respect for labour rights and human rights throughout business operations, supply chains and within communities affected by the transition to a low greenhouse gas emission, climate resilient economy;
- conducts in-depth analysis to support development of pathways that are 1.5°C-aligned, ambitious, equitable, and social-justice centered. Such pathways need to be supported by clear, consistent policies and regulations that will mobilize business investment, as well as measures to support sectors and communities as they transition away from fossil fuels towards clean energy. The ILO Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all can serve as the central reference for policymaking. The pathways should guide the development of strengthened, high-quality Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2025 and subsequent updates;
- seeks to enhance international cooperation to deliver such pathways globally, including through means of implementation support (finance, technology and capacity-building) for countries in the Global South. In particular, the work programme can identify opportunities to finance just transition pathways in developing countries across the global climate finance architecture, including via scaled-up grants, funds, and blended finance, but also by de-risking low-carbon investments;
- fosters an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises, with a particular focus on green skills development and on addressing the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and ensuring they are not left behind in the transition to a net-zero economy; and
- does not duplicate but rather cuts across and complements existing workstreams on mitigation and adaptation under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.
We stand ready to work with you and mobilize the business and financial community to engage with and support implementation of the work programme.
Council for Inclusive Capitalism
Corporate Leaders Group Europe (CLG Europe)
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics, Submission to the consultation on the Work Programme on Just Transition pathways
International Organization of Employers (IOE), Submission to the consultation on the Work Programme on Just Transition pathways
United Nations Global Compact, Submission to the consultation on the Work Programme on Just Transition pathways
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
We Mean Business Coalition, Submission to the consultation on the Work Programme on Just Transition pathways
World Benchmarking Alliance, Submission to the consultation on the Work Programme on Just Transition pathways
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)