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World of Work Must Adapt to Unprecedented Changes to Ensure a Sustainable Future

The challenges facing the agency over the next 100 years are likely to be even more daunting

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FILE - U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. VOA

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres is warning the world has to adapt to unprecedented changes in the world of work to ensure a sustainable future and create a more just society.  Guterres spoke at the International Labor Conference.

In congratulating the International Labor Organization on its centenary anniversary, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cites the ILO’s many achievements in establishing labor standards that have improved the safety and quality of work for millions of people.

He says the challenges facing the agency over the next 100 years are likely to be even more daunting.

“As we look ahead, we know new technologies — especially artificial intelligence — will inevitably lead to a massive destruction of jobs and a massive creation of new jobs,” said Guterres. “It is difficult to now foresee all these impacts, but it is clear that the future will require a range of new and different skills.”

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U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres is warning the world has to adapt to unprecedented changes. Pixabay

To keep abreast of new demands, he says governments will have to make large investments in education that are flexible and based on the learning needs of a lifetime.

Guterres says the well-being of people must be at the center of economic and social policies.  That involves the creation of decent work that is sustainable for the long run.  He notes a sustainable future for the world of work is not possible without addressing the urgent demands of climate change.

“Addressing the climate emergency is indeed the defining issue of our time.  Climate action could create millions of sustainable jobs,” said Guterres. “Green business has proven to be good business.  But climate change is moving faster than we are and we are risking a future with increased instability, inequality and poverty.”

The U.N. chief says new momentum must be injected into the climate change debate.  He says the new momentum is needed to transform political and economic systems to meet the goals set in the Paris Climate Accord to reduce emissions that are harming the survivability of the planet.

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He says he hopes to move in that direction by convening a climate action summit in September at U.N. headquarters in New York. (VOA)

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Education Institutions from Across the World Declares Climate Emergency

The first time education institutions made a collective commitment to address climate emergency

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In a joint letter, they talked about a three-point plan that includes going carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the latest. Pixabay

Networks representing over 7,000 higher education institutions from across the world on Thursday declared a climate emergency and agreed to undertake steps to address the crisis.

In a joint letter, they talked about a three-point plan that includes going carbon neutral by 2030 or 2050 at the latest, mobilising more resources for action-oriented climate change research and skills creation, and increasing the delivery of environmental and sustainability education across curricula, campus and community outreach programmes.

The letter — coordinated by the UN Environment’s Youth and Education Alliance, The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education, and Second Nature – a US-based higher education climate action organization — marks the first time education institutions made a collective commitment to address climate emergency.

Signed by universities including Strathmore University (Kenya), Tongji University (China) and KEDGE Business School (France), the call is also backed by major global education networks such as the Global Alliance and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, which have made commitments to meeting the suggested carbon neutrality targets.

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Networks representing over 7,000 higher education institutions from across the world on Thursday declared a climate emergency and agreed to undertake steps to address the crisis. Pixabay

“What we teach shapes the future. We welcome this commitment from universities to go climate neutral by 2030 and to scale-up efforts on campus,” UN Environment Executive Director Inger Andersen said.

“Young people are increasingly at the forefront of calls for more action on climate and environmental challenges. Initiatives which directly involve the youth in this critical work are a valuable contribution to achieving environmental sustainability.”

Examples of best practices for sustainability on campus include Kenya’s Strathmore University, which runs on clean energy and has set up its own 600KW photovoltaic grid tie system, as well as Tongji University in China, which has significantly invested in delivering a sustainability education curriculum and is encouraging other education institutions to do the same.

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In the US, the University of California has committed to a system-wide goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025, while others, such as the American University and Colgate University, have already achieved carbon neutrality. (IANS)