ILO Asia-Pacific Green Jobs Network Meeting, 31 May 2021, online

The May meeting of the ILO Asia-Pacific Green Jobs Network was held on 31 May 2021. The meeting introduced Green Jobs in the Employment Intensive Investment Programme in the Asia-Pacific region (EIIP) (annex 1) followed by an open discussion.

Annex 2: Summary A-P Green Jobs Network_31 May 2021


President Xi stresses sci-tech self-strengthening at higher levels
2021-05-29 Source: Xinhua

President Xi Jinping called for accelerated efforts in building China into a leader in science and technology and achieving sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels. Xi made the remarks while addressing a meeting conflating the general assemblies of the members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and the national congress of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST). Sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening should always be considered a strategic support for national development, he said. He called for resolute efforts to achieve breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields. Xi also called for more participation in global sci-tech governance with a focus on issues such as climate change and human health, as well as more joint research and development with scientific researchers from other countries.

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Chinese vice premier stresses efforts in environmental inspections
2021-05-29 Source: Xinhua

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, urged solid efforts in the central inspection on ecological and environmental protection while presiding over a meeting of a leading group of the central inspection. Han called for more efforts to strike a sound balance between development and protection and promote high-quality development, adding that ecological and environmental protection should be integrated with the country's major regional strategies. He also stressed improving systems and mechanisms to address common issues and rectifying ecological and environmental problems that draw numerous complaints. Han stressed the central inspection should continue to be precise, sound, and law-based. He added that more should be done to rectify problems found during inspections.

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"China's energy transformation: towards carbon neutrality" released in Beijing
2021-05-20 Source: China Social Sciences Net

On May 19, a press conference on the new publication "China's energy transformation: towards carbon neutrality" and the seminar on carbon neutrality and green energy development were held in Beijing. The conference was jointly organized by the Institute of Quantitative Economy and Technical Economy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the Social Sciences Literature Press. "China's energy transformation: towards carbon neutrality" makes a comprehensive analysis from the two aspects of energy consumption and supply side transformation. It discussed the pathway of carbon peaking and carbon neutralization, and analyzed the impact of new energy industry subsidy policy and new trade protection on the energy industry, which provides a useful decision-making reference for China to achieve the goal of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality.

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A "green" future for China's auto industry showcased at Shanghai Auto Show
2021-05-03 Source: Xinhua

An auto show in Shanghai shed light on the industry's urge to jump onto the green-tech bandwagon, as China, which is already the world's No.1 new-energy vehicles (NEV) market, pushes for clean-energy use in its auto sector.

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This hybrid hydro-solar power venture could shape the future of Thailand
2021-05-18 Source: World Economic Forum

About 144,417 solar panels are being installed on a reservoir in the northeast province of Ubon Ratchathani, where workers are completing the last of seven solar farms covering 300 acres (121 hectares) of water. The state-run Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is touting the pilot project as one of the world's largest hybrid hydro-solar power ventures and aims to replicate it at eight more dams over the next 16 years. Thailand is aiming to draw 35% of its energy from non-fossil fuels by 2037.

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Indonesia aims to dump coal plants for carbon neutrality by 2060
2021-05-28 Source: Nikkei Asia

Indonesian state-owned utility firm, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), is aiming to phase out coal-fired power as the country brings forward its carbon neutrality ambitions to 2060. The plan was revealed at a parliamentary hearing on May 27. To achieve this, PLN will look to replace 1,1 gigawatt worth of coal and gasified coal-powered power plants with renewable energy by 2025. It will also retire a total of 49 GW of coal-fueled power plants in stages by 2056. With this plan, the company aims to use clean energy for all of its power plant by 2060. At a separate event, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, also spoke on May 27 about phasing out coal power plants. This decision is induced by the global trend on phasing out coal including the decision of many international financiers to stop providing fund for coal powered plant.

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Indonesia to commit Net Zero Emission Goal
2021-05-31 Source: Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources

On May 31, The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) met COP 26 President Designate and Embassy for Indonesia and Timor-Leste of UK. During this meeting, the Minister conveyed Indonesia commitment to fulfill Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for achieving the net zero emission goal. The commitment is planned to be implemented via strategic programs such as mandatory biodiesel, co-firing of coal powered plant, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), and development of renewable energy powered plant. Currently MEMR together with Ministry of Environment and Forestry are developing the Net Zero Emission Scenario for Indonesia especially for emission reduction related to power plant by retiring 53 GW of coal powered plant within 2025 – 2045.

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UN chief calls for a global partnership to address COVID, climate change and achieve SDGs
2021-05-30 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Speaking in a key international partnerships summit, António Guterres said that if governments embrace together the goals of phasing out coal, enhancing climate commitments, and investing in the Global Goals, there is an opportunity to rise to 'the biggest challenge of our lives'. The world needs a global partnership to beat COVID-19, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change, said the UN Secretary General in a video message for the opening day of the 2021 P4G summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

The Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) event aims to boost market-based partnerships and rally high-level political and private sector action. It brings together Heads of State, CEOs, and civil society leaders around a shared action agenda to mobilize investments for tangible impact.

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Boost investments in nature to combat climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises
2021-05-27 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Annual investments in nature-based solutions will have to triple by 2030, and increase four-fold by 2050, if the world is to successfully tackle the triple threat of climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises, according to a new UN-backed study on the State of Finance for Nature.

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World now likely to hit watershed 1.5 °C rise in next five years, warns UN weather agency
2021-05-26 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Odds are increasing that the annual average global temperature will rise beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in at least one of the next five years, the UN weather agency warns in a new report. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said there was a 40% chance of the watershed global warming mark being met during the time frame, and these odds are increasing with time.

The 1.5°C mark was established as the desirable target for all the countries of the world who signed up to the Paris Agreement to limit temperature rises, in order to prevent permanent changes that threaten the wellbeing of all life on earth. The agreement calls for limiting rises to 2°C or below.

There is a 90% likelihood of at least one year between 2021-2025 becoming the warmest on record, which would dislodge 2016 from the top ranking, according to the Global Annual to Decadal Climate Update, produced by the United Kingdom’s Met Office, the WMO lead centre for such predictions.

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SDGs: Greater urgency needed to meet environmental goals, improved data likely key
2021-05-22 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Countries are on track to miss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to environmental protection, two UN entities warn in new report issued to coincide with the International Day for Biological Diversity. Despite making progress in areas such as clean water, sanitation, clean energy and forest management, the world is still living unsustainably and biodiversity loss and climate change have continued to deteriorate.

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Guterres renews zero-emissions appeal to avoid falling into climate abyss
2021-05-22 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

All countries should commit to zero carbon emissions by 2050 if the world is to avoid a disastrous 2.4 degree Celsius temperature rise by the end of this century, UN Secretary General António Guterres said at a high-level climate gathering in Petersberg, Germany. “I see encouraging signs from some major economies”, he said, referring to countries that represent 73 per cent of emissions having committed to net zero emissions by mid-century.

The world’s top priority should be to dispense with polluting coal-fired power stations altogether and replace them with renewable energy, the UN Secretary-General maintained. This should happen by 2030 in the wealthy countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and by 2040 across the globe. Dramatic as this transition away from fossil fuel will be, it must be inclusive and “just…involving local governments, unions and the private sector to support affected communities and generate green jobs”, Mr. Guterres continued.

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Cut methane emissions to avert global temperature rise, UN-backed study urges
2021-05-06 Source: UN News/ Climate and Environment

Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed report. The Global Methane Assessment outlines the benefits of mitigating methane, a key ingredient in smog, which include preventing some 260,000 premature deaths and 775,000 asthma- related hospital visits annually, as well as 25 million tonnes in crop losses.

Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas, responsible for around 30 per cent of warming since the pre-industrial era. Most human-caused methane emissions come from three sectors: fossil fuels, such as oil and gas processing; landfills and waste; and agriculture, chiefly related to livestock. The report underscores why international action is urgently needed as human-caused methane emissions are increasing faster than at any time since record keeping began in the 1980s. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic causing an economic slowdown in 2020, which prevented another record year for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, data shows the amount of methane in the atmosphere reached record levels last year. Methane accounts for nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Assessment identifies readily available solutions that would reduce methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, mainly in the fossil fuel sector. Most, or around 60 per cent, are low cost and half have “negative costs”, meaning companies will make money from taking action.

So-called “mitigation potential” varies between countries and regions, according to the report. For example, whereas the largest potential in Europe and India is in the waste sector, in China it is from coal production and livestock, while in Africa it is from livestock followed by oil and gas.

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Tourism: An opportunity to rethink the future of the industry
2021-05-04 Source: ILO

Tourism has been among the hardest hit of all sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women, youth, and workers in the informal economy are the most at risk from tourism sector job losses and business closures. Building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic represents an opportunity to rethink the future of the tourism sector, including how it contributes to the lives of 300 million workers worldwide.

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Pei Hongye

Cristina Martinez

Zhang Xubiao

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