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Climate change threatening working hours — ILO Coordinator

working hours in Africa may see a more than a two-hour reduction in six years due to heat stress resulting from climate change, with the situation projected to have dire consequences on the labour market and economies.

It is also projected that heat stress globally would reduce workable hours in most regions as some areas would be too hot for work.

Making a presentation on climate change and just-transition at a media sensitisation and awareness creation programme on the National Green Jobs Strategy in Accra last Friday, the National Project Coordinator of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gideon Mankralo, stressed that some countries had been experiencing the phenomenon and the situation was getting worse worldwide due to the impact of climate change.

“So, by 2030, temperatures are going to rise so high that we cannot go to work in the afternoons, and the Ministry of Labour, TUC, workers will come out and say for Ghana between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. nobody should come out to work,” he said.

Impact

Mr Mankralo said the agriculture and construction industries would be the hardest hit, stressing the urgent need for the country to promote the National Green Jobs Strategy to get everybody on board to deal with the challenge, which could soon become a reality.

“The evidence of temperature warming,” he said, “is already here with us”, which, he added, demanded the promotion of green jobs instead of brown jobs to save the world from the effects of climate change and to prevent job losses.

The ILO National Project Coordinator further said 1.2 billion jobs were closely linked to eco-system service, so the effects of climate change could be devastating as it could lead to many job losses.

He explained further that “if the fisheries collapsed, 86 million jobs would be lost.”

He disclosed that annually, 23 million working life years were being lost due to human-induced or climate change-related disasters.

Green jobs

Citizens, he said, must be well informed on the dangers of climate change so they promoted Green jobs, which, he explained, were decent jobs that contributed to the preservation and restoration of the environment.

For instance, engaging in activities that limit greenhouse gas emissions or minimise waste and pollution.

He urged journalists to use their various platforms to promote green jobs in the country.

The workshop

The workshop, which was organised by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), was to deepen the understanding of journalists on the Green and Circular economy and to urge them as agents of change to ensure the promotion and creation of Green jobs in the country.

The country commenced the operationalisation of its National Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2016.

The objective was to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes and projects to reduce the global effects of climate change.

To ensure that the transition from the current brown economy to a green economy was ‘Just’ and socially inclusive, the MELR and its social partners developed the National Green Jobs strategy to ensure that the transition in the country did not negatively impact the livelihoods of workers.

The Green jobs strategy was to prepare the labour force to harness decent job creation potential of the green and circular economy.

Share responsibility

The Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of MELR, Gloria Bortele Noi, said it was imperative for citizens to remain well-informed about climate change and its adverse effects on the environment and their well-being.

The media, she said, must play its crucial role in ensuring a sustainable green environment by intensifying education on issues of climate change and requirements for a just transition.

“Through investigative journalism, the media can bring to light environmental issues which can influence decision-making,” she added.

Creating green job opportunities, Ms Noi said, was a shared responsibility, aiming for policy alignment, coordination, green skills development and support for green enterprises.

Source: Graphic.com

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