Leading international figures discuss the labour dimension of Just Energy Transition Partnerships

At meeting of IEA's Clean Energy Labour Council, trade union representatives share views on key approach to financing transitions in emerging economies

The IEA’s Clean Energy Labour Council met today, bringing together leading trade union figures and other key voices from around the world to discuss the labour dimension of Just Energy Transition Partnerships, which are an increasingly important form of international cooperation for financing clean energy transitions in emerging economies.

Convened by IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, the Clean Energy Labour Council’s members comprise representatives of many of the world’s largest trade unions and trade union confederations, as well as prominent thinkers on the topic. It aims to give a greater voice to the labour perspective in energy and climate policy discussions.

Today’s meeting was co-chaired by Sharan Burrow, former General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Zingiswa Losi, President of the Congress of South African Trade Unions. Dr Birol delivered opening remarks.

“Mobilising much greater financing is essential if we are to narrow the gap between the level of investment that is currently going into clean energy in emerging and developing economies and what is required to meet our energy and climate goals,” Dr Birol said. “Just Energy Transition Partnerships provide an important framework to drive investment while ensuring fair and inclusive processes and outcomes. I very much welcome today’s discussion on the labour dimension of these partnerships. It is vital to ensure the voice of labour is heard because people need to be at the heart of clean energy transitions.”

Today’s meeting focused on two recent Just Energy Transition Partnerships – with South Africa, which was announced in November 2021, and with Indonesia, launched in November 2022. The Partnership with Indonesia – which targets an ambitious and equitable power sector transition – was underpinned by IEA analysis, notably the Agency’s Energy Sector Roadmap to Net Zero Emissions in Indonesia.

IEA analysis has underscored the need for governments to manage the social and economic impacts of clean energy transitions in a coordinated way, given that employment is expected to increase in clean energy industries while decreasing in fossil fuel ones. These efforts include seeking transition pathways that maximise opportunities for good quality jobs, for workers to make use of existing skills and develop new skills, and mobilising long-term support for affected workers and communities.

IEA Clean Energy Labour Council Membership List

  • Co-Chair: Sharan Burrow, Former General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • Co-Chair: Zingiswa Losi, President, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)
  • Pepe Alvarez, Secretary-General, Union General de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores (UGT)
  • Rhoda Boateng, Programme Coordinator, ITUC Africa​
  • Bea Bruske, President, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
  • Chandra Bhushan, President, International Forum for Environment, Sustainability and Technology, India
  • Plamen Dimitrov, President, Bulgarian Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CITUB)
  • Peggy Hessen Følsvik, First Deputy Leader, Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO Norway)
  • Carmen Foro, General Secretary, Unified Workers' Central (CUT Brazil)
  • Brad Markell, Executive Director, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council
  • Frederik Moch, Head of Department for Structural Policy, Industry and Service, Federal Executive Board of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)
  • Lebogang Mulaisi (COSATU Sherpa), Head of Policy Unit, COSATU 
  • Reema Nanavaty, Executive Director, Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA)
  • Muriel Penicaud, Former Ambassador at the Permanent Representative of France to the OECD, Former Minister of Labour, France
  • Elly Rosita Silaban, President, Confederation of All Indonesian Trade Unions (KSBSI)
  • Alison Tate (ITUC Sherpa), Director, Economic and Social Policy, ITUC
  • Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation
  • Ayuba Wabba, President, ITUC and President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)
  • Shoya Yoshida, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP)