Weekly News: our selection of analysis on green jobs and the impact of COVID-19
Every week, Policy Shift will share a selection of recent articles and publications focused on public policy and innovation. This week's theme deals with work and green jobs issues – notably in light of the Covid-19 crisis.
The impact of Covid-19 on work
A working paper by the economist Cyprien Batut (in English or French) on the impact of Covid-19 on telework : telemigration, relocation, environnement.
"The assessment of the possible widespread of teleworking, between telemigration, relocation and environmental impact This note is a prospective exercise which tries to consider the consequences of this evolution:
They are primarily environmental. We can expect a reduction in daily or one-off trips for professional reasons. The immediate result would be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, of which the effect of confinement on air quality in European cities is a foretaste. Cautions is however necessary in this regard, teleworking is not environmentally neutral, network infrastructures that make this form of work possible are also sources of pollution.
The emergence of telework then has the potential to introduce a new player in the labour market : the « tele-migrant » in the words of economist Richard Baldwin. While skilled workers have hitherto been protected from the effects of globalisation, the situation could change, as many skilled freelancers, particularly from the South, are now able to compete with them. But this opening up may be an opportunity, as the French and European economies are structurally short of skilled workers in many fields.
Finally, by disconnecting living and working spaces for part of the population, telework could change the very shape of cities and the dynamics of spatial inequalities, with ambiguous effects."
"The continued sharp decline in working hours globally due to the COVID-19 outbreak means that 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy – that is nearly half of the global workforce – stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed, warns the International Labour Organization.
The proportion of workers living in countries under recommended or required workplace closures has decreased from 81 to 68 per cent over the last two weeks. The decline from the previous estimate of 81 per cent in the second edition of the monitor (published April 7) is primarily a result of changes in China; elsewhere workplace closure measures have increased.
The ILO calls for urgent, targeted and flexible measures to support workers and businesses, particularly smaller enterprises, those in the informal economy and others who are vulnerable."
An article by Fondation Jean Jaurès (in French) about changes induced by the crisis in the world of work
This article provides an analysis of the changes induced by the crisis on work. It emphasizes the tripartition of workers betwen telework, unemployment and site-based work. It also deals with the effects of confinement on the quality of life at work, as well as post-crisis challenges and opportunities. The article evaluates the impact of the crisis on telework and some of hte policies implemented in northern Europe to develop it.
An International Labour Organization report (in English and Spanish) on the employment impact of climate change adaptation
"This report (was prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the G20 Climate Sustainability Working Group (CSWG) under the Argentina G20 Presidency in 2018. It shows that adaptation measures to climate change, such as investment in adaptation infrastructure can create jobs and protect workers and income. Social protection, enterprise development and skills policy are necessary to maximise the positive effect of the transition to a climate resilient economy."
"The U.S. wind and solar power industries have emerged as key job creators in recent years, and both industries are scrambling to shield their workers from the economic havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, federal policymakers have not prioritized green jobs, at least not yet. Nevertheless, several states have stepped in to take action that could help reduce the impact and position renewable energy for rapid recovery."