In the late sixties, a group of scientists questioned the future of our production and consumption patterns in the famous “Limits to Growth”. The world started to understand changes it was witnessing. Only a few decades later, climate change, its anthropogenic causes and ever-growing impact on societies have become a top priority on the policy agenda of the international community. The world talks “low-carbon” and “green”, and expectations of the Conference of the Parties that will take place in Copenhagen next month are high.

But what is being discussed at this conference? And what is at stake?

Science has given evidence of the anthropogenic causes of gradual and continuous global warming, which is hampering the achievement of development goals such as eradicating extreme poverty and containing pandemic diseases. Action needs to be taken now in order to avoid “the unmanageable”. That action is a global treaty succeeding the Post-Kyoto Protocol.

Furthermore, the parties from developing and developed countries present in Copenhagen will discuss adaptation measures, technology and financing. But negotiators face big challenges. Among those challenges are the delicate balance between the needs of developing countries and the engagement of major emitters, and the setting-up of investment opportunities that go beyond assistance and subsidies.

Since 2008, the ILO has participated in climate negotiations, giving voice to its constituents and promoting its green jobs initiative. The role of the ILO is to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities that climate policies may bring to the world of work. The Turin Training Centre supports this effort through its green jobs training programme. More information can be found on its website at http://greenjobs.itcilo.org/ , which contains video material, presentations, links, texts and quizzes on central concepts touched upon during the courses, such as climate adaptation, mitigation and transition. In particular, it considers the challenges and opportunities for the world of work.


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