Francesco La Camera: Prioritise just transition in net-zero policies


“The more we delay decisive action”, IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said on the BBC’s ‘Talking Business’ show recently, “the more it will be difficult and costly to win the fight against climate change.”

Discussing the need for ambitious climate action while addressing fears that millions of workers could be left behind Mr. La Camera in conversation with Sharan Burrow, chief of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), called on policymakers to anchor a just and socially fair transition at the heart of any national net-zero policies as more and more countries sally forth towards a climate-safe 1.5°C future.

The Director-General stressed that “on a dead planet, there are no jobs”, pinpointing at the same time to the massive socioeconomic benefits of energy transition as a veritable job creation engine with 11.5 million jobs today and an estimated additional 40 million jobs by 2050 globally.

“If we accelerate the path to net-zero in the next three years and invest two trillion USD per year in the energy transition, we will create 5.5 million new jobs,” Mr. La Camera said, referring to IRENA’s Word Energy Transitions Outlook that outlines an energy system change in line with 1.5°C. “But we need policies,” he added. “If state intervention goes in the right direction, it can leverage private money and accelerate the energy transition.”

“Take equality between the North and the South into account”

When talking about sustainable and equitable development, “the equality between the North and the South of the world must be taken into account”, IRENA’s Director-General continued. “In building this new energy system along the value chain, we must take into account that the industrial sectors of developing countries are part of the creation of the value.”

Watch the BBC Talking Business show on YouTube.