Hon. Bright Wireko Brobby, Deputy Minister of MELR
By Ernest Berko, ADI PPME
The National Dialogue on Decent Work and “Just Transition” to a Sustainable Economy and Society for all was organized by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relation in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The two Ministries received technical and financial support from PAGE. The discussion centred on the “The Roles of Tripartite Constituents in Sustainable Development”.
The event, which took place at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on Wednesday, 24th January 2018, brought together stakeholders from all sectors of the national economy. These included government agencies, trade unions, the Ghana Employers’ Association, academia, development partners and civil society organizations.
The Paris Agreement requires individual countries to implement initiatives that mitigate the impacts of climate. In view of this and other frameworks, Ghana has developed its Nationally Determined Contributions and 31 prioritized programs and projects. However, the mitigation and adaption actions themselves present a host of negative impacts, particularly on work. In order to address the issues, the International Labour Organization has developed non-binding Policy Guidelines for countries aspiring to green their economies.
PURPOSE OF THE NATIONAL DIALOGUE
The purpose of the dialogue was to provide a platform to actors at the national level to discuss possible options for synchronizing climate change and labour/ decent job creation policies within the context of the “Just Transition” concept.
ISSUES AT THE TECHNICAL SESSION
The following issues and concerns emerged at the plenary during the technical presentations and discussion:
- The impacts of climate change and the response measures on jobs and work are inevitable.
- There are complexities in adjusting to the “Just Transition” concept in the labour market.
- Green job skills, training and education programs are non-existing or do not enable the labour force take advantage of opportunities.
- Workers in the informal economy and energy are the most vulnerable.
- There is inadequate collaboration between government agencies in implementing of the components of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- The impact of the NDCs on existing and future jobs has not been fully and rigorously evaluated.
- There is the need for alternative measures to control the adverse effects of the structural changes required for ‘Just Transition’ to be successful in Ghana.
Stakeholder networking and partnership building
OUTPUT OF SYNDICATE GROUP WORK
In line with literature on the most affected sectors of the economy, the following areas of economic activity were selected for discussion at the syndicate groups:
- Energy and Mining
- Cocoa and Forestry
- Transportation and Waste Management
The groups were tasked to do the following and report at the plenary:
- Identify the key domestic and international policy initiative(s) that underpin the socio-economic agenda of the sector.
2. Identify major “successes” and “challenges” in the implementation of the policy initiative (s).
3. Recommend practical interventions for implementing existing policy initiatives to address inequalities, negative impacts etc.
4. Recommend concrete steps for the institutionalization of efforts towards addressing negative impacts of policy initiatives or mitigation measures.
Facilitated syndicate café round table discussions
After deliberations and dialogue sessions, the tripartite constituents and other stakeholders recommended the following:
1. Enhance scoping and rigorous impact evaluation of the Nationally Determined Contributions on jobs and the market labour should be conducted.
2. The vocational and technical skills training schools and centres should mainstream the principles of the “Just Transition concept” in their curriculums.
3. Existing skills should be upgraded to reflect the needs of the transition to a green economy.