Anabella Rosemberg, International Trade Union Association


When leaders meet in Rio de Janeiro for the Earth Summit in June this year, unemployment, precarious work and inequality will be central to their domestic agendas. At the same time, global environmental change is increasing stress on the most vulnerable, affecting all domains of society. If the Summit is going to deliver for people, it needs to take all these elements into account. It will also need to take concrete steps that will lead to changes on the ground.

The proposal presented in this Challenge Paper calls on all governments to take a country-based ‘policy package’ to Rio+20. This should include a target on decent job creation in the next 5-10 years, achieved by environmentally-friendly investments and regulations accounting for 2% of GDP, and a series of social and decent work policies which will ensure green jobs contribute to workers’ and communities’ prosperity.

Generating millions of new green and decent jobs and transforming existing ones into more greener and more decent ones could be one of the most positive consequences of a Rio+20 summit. This agenda could kick start the Global Transition, giving people hope about the positive impacts of a more sustainable society, particularly those suffering from poverty, precarious employment or unemployment.

A green/decent job pledge would also be part of a solution to environmental and social imbalances created by the current unsustainable production mode. This would occur by driving a new kind of investments in developing countries whilst giving them access to a new model of development.

Click the image below to download the paper as a PDF.


  • Anonymous

    It’s ironic that so much focus is needed on local resilience moving forward, yet every country seems to be waiting to agree upon global collective action. I hope that Earth Summit 2012 will be a series of nations highlighting their local actions and brainstorming more of the same rather than another Durban. The world needs immediate positive action, not another highly publicized diplomatic holiday.

  • Natalie Watson

    One key green job, and what should be a key piece of the Transition movement is sustainable urban planning. We desperately need to redesign suburbia so that it can support local economies, cooperative communities, and walkable neighborhoods. At the same time we need a new generation of public policy makers changing outdated zoning laws.

    • Thanks for your comments Natalie! We agree. We’d love it if you would like to write a blog for us, or even a longer think piece on this for us. I’d love to hear more about your thoughts. Please drop us an email if you’d like to.


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