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PAGE China Workshop on Green Development/Green Jobs Summary

— theme: Employment and socio-economic policies, Environment and climate
— country: Asia, China
— type: Community Updates

The UN PAGE program in China held two back-to-back workshops on Green Development in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province on 2-6 December 2019. The workshops were jointly organised by UNIDO, ILO and the Research Institute for Global Value Chains (RIGVC) of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), in partnership with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), the Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE) of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), China Enterprise Confederation (CEC), China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) and other UN agencies associated with UN PAGE program.

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The first workshop focused on Eco-Industrial Parks. China has the largest number of industrial parks in the world, 2,543 in 2017, with 552 national industrial parks and 1,991 provincial ones. Industrial parks are critical centers of industrial activity within China, in 2016 the economic output of all Chinese industrial parks accounted for 60% of national GDP. China has made significant and long-standing efforts in the greening of industrial parks and eco-industrial parks are a critical element in sustainable industrial development in China.

The workshop discussed the UNIDO policy tool and study on Eco-industrial Parks (EIP) and how Chinese EIP are tracking in their green transition progress. The UNIDO EIP toolbox provides a framework to assess green transition in EIP across a range of selected indicators and dimensions. The study identified strong progress in environmental protection, with Suzhou in the lead for green transition in China. The study and discussions highlighted the ongoing challenge of balancing outcomes across different dimensions, including economic development, energy and resource efficiency, environmental protection, park management, employment and social security. Industrial parks have moved towards green transition to varying degrees, but no one Park has been able to transform across all relevant indicators. Social aspects of EIPs are less developed in comparison to economic and environment aspects, for example addressing gender equality, the role of trade unions and NGOS/CSOS in park management, and local employment still provide significant scope for action. The workshop also discussed how EIP can contribute to green development in “Belt and Road” projects and countries, as well as overall green employment in China.

The second workshop addressed Green Business models for Inclusive Green Growth/Green Jobs. Workshop participants included industrial park managers, government, employers, workers and academia (national, regional and sectoral level) and discussed the opportunity of inclusive green growth, green jobs and the application of the ILO’s Just Transition Guidelines in low carbon sustainable development.

The workshop discussed business models of the circular economy as potential sources of inclusive green growth. Transitioning to a circular economy requires policy support and new forms of finance as well as systematic change to realize circularity and just transition. The workshop included discussions on developing re-use and recycling pathways and circularity into textile and garment product design in the region. Learning and knowledge sharing of best practices and how to achieve them were also identified as critical action, as to understanding the employment implications of circular economy and the broader green transition in Suzhou and the Jiangsu Province.

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    Fast facts


    Status: Phase II

    Project period: Phase I (2011-2012); Phase II (2013-2014)

    Donor: Government of Japan

    Countries/sectors covered: Thailand (hotel industry) and the Philippines (automotive/hotel industry)

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