Employment Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Environmental sustainability and employment in Latin America and the Caribbean

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October 2018
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), International Labour Organization (ILO)

The natural environment, work and inequality are intrinsically linked. The activity of millions of workers depends on natural processes that can be disrupted by environmental degradation. Among their many other inherent risks, pollution, natural disasters and global warming endanger health, occupational safety and productivity. Environmental degradation in any form accentuates existing inequalities, affecting mainly women, people living in poverty and indigenous and tribal peoples, among other groups. From the perspective of the world of work and social justice, environmental sustainability is urgently needed.

Employment Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean is a twice-yearly report prepared jointly by the Economic Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Office for the Southern Cone of Latin America of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The first part of this edition analyses the performance of the region’s labour markets in 2017. The second part of this report addresses the region’s environmental challenges and their multiple linkages with the generation of productive employment and decent work. The environmental degradation caused by the prevailing development model damages employment too, so a transition towards a more sustainable model is urgent from the standpoints of both the environment and employment. Although such a transition will cost jobs in unsustainable activities, it will bring multiple opportunities to create new productive jobs and decent work.