Workers And Trade Unions

Due to their central role in promoting fundamental values such as equity, fairness and inclusiveness, the participation of the Workers and Trade Unions Major Group is crucial to addressing sustainable development in all three pillars. As the representatives of working people, Trade Unions are important partners in facilitating the achievement of sustainable development in particular its social dimension. Information, education and training on sustainability at all levels, including in the workplace, are key to strengthening Workers’ and Trade Unions’ capacity to support sustainable development. In addition, the Workers and Trade Union Major Group plays a key role in developing and implementing the Green Economy Concept.

The following examples are only a small part of UNEP’s numerous partnerships with Workers and Trade Unions at the global, regional and local level.

UNEP's work with Workers and Trade Unions

In April 2007, UNEP and the International Labour Foundation for Sustainable Development (Sustainlabour), in partnership with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and its affiliates, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Health Organization (WHO), launched a two-year project on “Strengthening trade union participation in international environmental processes.

Building on these results, a second phase of the project entitled “Towards Green and Decent Jobs: Enhancing Workers and Trade Unions’ Capacity” was launched in September 2010.

Read more about UNEP's work with Workers and Trade Unions here.

Report: "Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World"

The report “Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World” produced in the framework of the UNEP/ILO/IOE/ITUC Green Jobs Initiative assembles evidence - quantitative and conceptual - on existing green jobs. It is the first comprehensive and authoritative report which provides an overview of the complexity and policy relevance of global environmental challenges —climate change— and employment. The report commissioned and funded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was produced by the Worldwatch Institute, with technical assistance from the Cornell University Global Labour Institute.

It gathers data on employment in different sectors —renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings, sustainable transportation, and organic agriculture— and draws conclusions and recommendations for policy makers, Business and Industry, Workers and Trade Unions in the context of the transition towards a low-carbon economy, which may yield a real potential, and yet is faced with formidable challenges.

The pace of green job creation is likely to accelerate in the years ahead. A global transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy can create large numbers of green jobs across many sectors of the economy, and indeed can become an engine of development. Current green job creation is taking place in both the rich countries and in some of the major developing economies.

Find out more about the Green Jobs Initiative here.

Accredited organizations

Find here a list of all Workers and Trade Unions' organizations accredited with the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP.