The acting Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Spain to a just ecological transition, leaving no one behind, and putting people and decent, quality employment at the centre of the transition. Given "this unprecedented emergency that must be resolved very quickly," Ribera called for action, "learning from the past," and opening a social and inclusive dialogue for consensus.
Within the framework of the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), the acting minister participated in the launch of the “Climate Action for Work” Initiative alongside the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, and the Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Guy Ryder.
This initiative, promoted by Spain and Peru on behalf of the United Nations, has so far achieved the commitment of 46 countries to implement just transition plans via social dialogue to creating decent, quality green jobs. Ribera celebrated the commitments so far and said that she hoped that soon, "many more countries will join."
Ribera added that these plans include specific tools for climate action to ensure a just transition, specifying opportunities for employment and the skills and competencies that workers need to be an active part of this change.
Putting people at the centre
She explained that, as soon as the Government was constituted, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition (MITECO) had to act quickly to face social emergencies linked to the closures of private mines and power plants: "No one was thinking of the people who have contributed to Spain's development for generations."
At the same time, with the goal of a people-centred ecological transition, MITECO developed an Energy and Climate Framework that Ribera said puts "at the same level" the draft ecological transition bill, the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan for decarbonising Spain in the next decade and the National Strategy of Just Transition. The three documents are complemented by the Strategy against Energy Poverty.
The acting Minister for the Ecological Transition said that this comprehensive action, consistent with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050, will create between 250,000 and 350,000 jobs in the next decade.
For his part, António Guterres has stressed that the green economy is the economy of the future. He also pointed out that many countries are already working toward greener economies and that Spain, "is an excellent example of how dialogue with workers and paying attention to their needs can promote more prosperous and healthy communities." All countries and sectors, he said, "should capitalise on this opportunity to increase social equity and leave no one behind."
"Failing to address global warming is a recipe for economic disaster," he said. Without it, he added, "there will be no just transition, only the survival of the rich."
Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), believes that achieving climate neutrality while ensuring social justice is, "the decisive challenge of our time." He stressed that Spain demonstrates that “national plans can combine climate and social objectives. The Fair Transition Strategy, within the Energy and Climate Framework, contains measures that demonstrate how the ecological transition can generate employment and economic activity.”