The Nigerian Ministry of Labour and Employment kicked off a third ICAT project in the country, with an inception workshop held on 23 March 2023.
The project, which will be implemented by ICAT partner, the World Resources Institute, will help ensure transformations resulting from climate policies are just and gender inclusive. Nigeria is putting this project in place recognizing that climate policies should be evaluated for their impact on jobs and socio-economic growth potential, besides their expected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other climate-related impacts.
In its national commitment under the Paris Agreement (submitted first in 2015, with an update in 2021), Nigeria recognized that the degree to which people were affected by climate change impacts was influenced by their social status, gender, wealth, political power and access to and control over resources. It stated that women, youth, and remote communities still had less economic, political and legal influence than, for example, the urban, middle class community. They were more directly impacted and less able to cope with climate impacts. A just transition could empower these socio-economically disadvantaged groups.
At the start of the meeting, project country lead, Dr. Yerima P. Tarfa introduced the concept of a just transition to participants, and stressed that “employers, governments and workers must all participate in the process for [it] to be successful”. He continued by explaining that a just transition aimed to protect those that stood to lose economically, while ensuring that the advantages of a green economic transformation were shared widely.
“New business opportunities will arise as the pace and scope of the efforts needed to lessen the hazards associated with climate change quickly expand. However, while this transformation takes place, there will be transitional difficulties for people, communities, and nations,” Dr. Tarfa expanded.
The specific objectives of the ICAT project are:
In his address at the project’s inception workshop, ICAT Director Dr. Henning Wuester highlighted the need for effective stakeholder engagement. Without it, the project would not succeed.
“Stakeholders have to be engaged in shaping the transformation that affects them, and the only way to do this is through transparency that builds trust and understanding. For example, trade unions play a critical role because they need to be confident that policies are in place to ensure that the jobs and livelihoods of workers are safeguarded,” he said.
Dr. Wuester continued with an example of how such confidence could be built. Developing a set of indicators on the availability of jobs across industries, and putting in place a credible process for tracking them, could address critical interests of workers. Data on such indicators would have to be the outcome of a dialogue, building a cooperative relationship and ensuring that transitions were just, and did not leave anyone behind.
He then referred to the role of transparency in mobilizing finance.
“Having a credible plan, and monitoring and evaluating implementation against indicators builds trust among investors demonstrating the country’s commitment and readiness. Reporting on just transition indicators such as quality of jobs, competitiveness of domestic industry in global markets, and the growth of clean industries in individual sectors can help signal economic and political stability. This can put the minds of risk-averse investors at ease, and enable the flow of finance from public and private finance institutions,” explained Dr. Wuester.
Read more about the inception meeting in a news article in the Nigerian publication, Peoples’ Gazette.
Below a video on the workshop, courtesy of the Nigerian Television Authority.
Photo by Nupo Deyon Daniel on Unsplash
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