The ASEAN bloc has made good progress in advancing and supporting green jobs, but it needs strengthening in some policy areas so that green jobs growth could achieve its full potential, a recent joint report from ASEAN and the International Labour Organization (ILO) showed.
ASEAN and ILO worked together to conduct a study to assess policy readiness for promoting green jobs and a just transition across ASEAN member states.
Following the pandemic, the need for green jobs in ASEAN is even more important, yet resources both in the public and private sectors are constrained, the report found.
“Knowledge sharing and understanding best practice in promoting green jobs is essential to ensure scarce resources are used in the most effective ways,” says the report.
“In view of the promising future for green jobs, it is high time and indeed a priority for ASEAN Member States to actively promote the transition towards and creation of green jobs. Notably, ASEAN Member States have great potential in developing green jobs and green skills, which will then not only reap enormous economic benefits in terms of the creation of new jobs opportunities but will also promote environmental sustainability,” Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, Minister of Human Resources Malaysia, said in the foreword to the report.
A key finding in the report says that there is a range of incentives across all ASEAN member states to create private sector demand and awareness for green jobs. These incentives include subsidies, tax exemptions, preferential investment treatment, and various forms of regulation. The emerging status of most of these incentives mean they are relatively new, so there is no clarity and evidence of efficacy yet, the report notes.
ASEAN Member States should work together to agree on a common and workable definition of green jobs, using a spectrum approach to identify core green, indirectly green, and non-green occupations across different sectors and geographies, the report recommends.