Guy Ryder and Christiana Figueres, two visions about Societies that Work

Video message of Guy Ryder, Director General of the ILO:

“Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak to your Conference. It is, as my daughter might say, awesome to have the chance to address all of you; eminently this will bring so much political wisdom from your services, Presidents and Prime Ministers to the key priority of today. And that priority is jobs. For countries at all levels of development and adequate supply of decent jobs is a foundation of sustained and growing prosperity, inclusion and social cohesion. And where jobs are scarce or available livelihoods leave households in poverty, there is less growth, less security, less human and economic development and less social justice.

Jobs connect people to their society and to the economy. They are the most powerful vectors of inclusion and mobility that we have. Safe productive and fairly remunerated work, as a wage employee or as an owner operator of a small business, is the way women and men, and their families, gain self-esteem, a sense of belonging to a community and the opportunity to make a productive contribution to social progress.

Your call for inclusive growth to the G-20, to the UN and to today’s Presidents and Prime Ministers is exactly what we need to hear. It is what the young women and young men, who are increasingly desperate for the chance to show what they can do, expect of us all.

So congratulations – congratulations on your work at the Annual Conference, congratulations for all the magnificent work that you do the year round supporting democratic development, shared societies and conflict reconciliation. The ILO is pleased to be your knowledge partner for this Conference, and we will continue to support your efforts to take the message of building societies that work all around the world.”

 Video message of Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I extend a sincere thank you to the Club de Madrid for inviting me to address the green jobs for sustainable growth event in the 2013 Annual Conference. I am glad to have the opportunity to join you and discuss green jobs and sustainable growth because these two factors are at the heart of our response to climate change, which in turn points to the need for rapid transformation of the global economic system.

The science supports this. Alongside its dire warnings, the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Report shows that if the world quickly transitions to low carbon, it is possible to meet climate stability goals that open the door to a prosperous low-carbon future. Recently a foundation for this transition has emerged in the private sector, governments and the international process.

The business case of our action has never been stronger as the private sector wakes up to risks of climate change and rewards of acting. Diversifying into low-carbon assets produces better returns. Lower overhead a more energy security come from investing in efficiency. Consumers are increasingly demanding climate-friendly goods and services. Governments are realizing similar benefits as they use low-carbon policy to increase food and water security, improve public health and create a platform for sustainable growth.

Local and regional levels are capitalizing on low carbon. Many new carbon markets are springing up at city, state or regional levels. Many cities see low-carbon growth as a happy confluence of meeting resident needs and higher quality of life.

In the international process, the global community is taking steps towards a new universal climate agreement in 2015. Just a few days ago, COP 19 in Warsaw mandated countries to determine the contributions they can bring to the table, and to elaborate elements of the new agreement over the coming months.

The progress at every level indicates that we have indeed begun to build a strong foundation for the low-carbon transformation that will take us to the green economy. We must continue to build on this foundation. When we build on and expand this foundation, there will be a jump in the number of green jobs. This is an undeniable fact. The worldwide renewable sector employs more than 5.5 million people. Cities that promote low carbon are turning into green employment hubs. Climate action creates entrepreneurs and work opportunities in cities and rural communities. Every dollar invested into renewable energy produces more and better jobs than if that dollar were invested in fossil fuels. This presents a powerful argument for climate action in a world hungry for more and better quality employment opportunities. The world now needs leaders to make this case for action to their people, their investors and their trading partners.

We need government leaders making the case for the green growth model. We need industry leaders making the case for green benefits to the bottom line. We need trade leaders making the case for global price on carbon as a driver of a greener economy.

Dear friends, the Club de Madrid is an organization of leaders with influence throughout the world. I urge you to use this session, this Conference, to explore how your influence can help all leaders present the case for action. I invite you to take what emerges from this Conference to your countries, your communities, your companies, and put forward a practical path to green economic growth and green jobs. We must look to a future where growth is green and sustained across generations. A low-carbon future that benefits people, planet and prosperity. And we must act now to get on track to that future. This must be the leadership legacy you leave to future generations.”