World leaders are meeting at the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit which is being punted as the defining political event for climate for 2019. A number of concrete commitments are expected from countries, companies and civil society to combat climate change. South Africa is one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world and is coming under increasing pressure to adopt new technologies to power the country. International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor is heading up the South African delegation, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he looks forward to holding talks with her.
The ILO estimates that measures to green the production and use of energy will lead to net job gains of around 24 million jobs by 2030. This is in line with views by South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council which says a shift to a more environmentally friendly economy tends to have “higher local content than traditional fossil-fuel-based economic activities”. This is because energy-efficient investments such as retrofitting buildings aremore location specific and require local labour. Also, most clean energy industries are more labour intensive than carbon-intensive ones. The ILO says it is crucial that all stakeholders come on board.
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