Nairobi, 19 February 20022:The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has said governments can only assure youth sustainable jobs if urgent action is put to tackling the climate change crisis.
In a statement released ahead of the World Social Justice Day, DrMithikaMwenda, the Executive Director of the PACJA said the climate crisis has compounded job creation opportunities for governments.
“Building back better after the COVID-19 global pandemic is not feasible,” he said adding that the nexus between climate change and the COVID-19 has lessened governments’ ability to generate enough jobs to meet needs of the millions of African youth.
According to the InternationalLabourOrganisation, the Global unemployment was equivalent to 127 million full-time jobs in the second quarter of 2021. An earlier report of the ILO in 2018 noted that the world of work is intimately connected with the natural environment.
The report noted that around one third of jobs in the world’s richest countries rely directly on the effective management and sustainability of a healthy environment.
Mithika said Africa is already living the negative impacts of climate change and other forms of environmental degradation which have led to job losses,and has in addition lowered productivity of the farms, lakes, rivers and pastoralism.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of last August, Africa is at the forefront of climate emergency.
The World Day of Social Justice is celebrated annually on the February 20 and is meant to increase awareness on the existing social justice issues which range from gender equality, rights for vulnerable people, indigenous people as well as women and children. This year’s theme revolves around formal employment for social justice.
According to MithikaMwenda, Climate change is directly linked to issues of social justice because the people it affects are the marginalized communities, indigenous people, people living below the poverty line, the abled differently as well women and children.
He said that the adverse effects of climate change have changed the lives of many through lack of jobs, lack of access to clean water, lack of access to affordable healthcare due to their socio-economic standing.
“Creating of green energy jobs, which is a climate action process, will lead to the loss of jobs in short term but it will also create a much more climate conscious working environment and create more jobs for people,” he said.
Analysis by the World Resources Institute, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the New Climate Economy in 2021 showed that investing in solar photovoltaic energy creates an average of 1.5 times as many jobs as investing the same amount of money in fossil fuels and that ecosystem restoration creates 3.7 times as many jobs as oil and gas production per dollar. The analysis further showed that building efficiency retrofits create 2.8 times as many jobs as fossil fuels per dollar and that mass transit creates 1.4 times as many jobs as road construction per dollar.
The ILO notes that decreasing climate change as an agenda, will inevitably create huge impacts on social justice. The ILO is mandated to ensure that the impacts of social injustices do not affect the working conditions of the employees in their various areas of work.