Green Economics and Decent Work: A Viable Unified Framework

Assessment of Greening with Jobs

In this review article for Development and Change, PERI researcher Robert Pollin evaluates the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) extensive 2018 World Employment and Social Outlook report Greening with Jobs. Pollin finds that, within the context of the extreme climate crisis, Greening with Jobs succeeds as an important contribution towards building a unified program for achieving climate stabilization, expanding decent job opportunities and raising mass living standards for working people and the poor throughout the world. At the same time, Pollin’s review article also points out what are, in his view, some weaknesses and significant gaps in the study.

Development and Change
Review of International Labour Organization report Greening with Jobs

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Introduction

The 2018 International Labour Organization (ILO) report Greening with Jobs, part of their World Employment and Social Outlook series, could not possibly be focused on a more critical issue. This is because climate change literally represents an existential threat to life on earth as we know it. Within this context of extreme urgency, Greening with Jobs (henceforth the Report) provides a range of perspectives, findings and policy proposals which help define a viable path to global climate stabilization. The defining mission of the ILO is to promote decent work throughout the globe. Given this mission, it follows that any version of what they would consider a viable climate stabilization path would also promote increasing mass living standards and expanding job opportunities for working people and the poor throughout the world.

The Report is largely successful in describing such a climate stabilization agenda. Its broad themes include the relationship between climate stabilization, economic growth and jobs; the quantity and quality of work opportunities that could be created through the stabilization project; and a range of ways, in the areas of labour market regulation and skills development, to promote decent work in all aspects of the project. In my view, there are also some significant problems at various points in the study.

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