By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: The Delegation of the European Union to Kuwait hosted a high-level event on Tuesday titled “Supporting a Just Transition in Kuwait: Decent Jobs for a Sustainable Future”. The event was organized in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (SCPD) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Its primary focus was on highlighting the significance of a just transition in addressing the impacts of climate change in a manner that prioritizes human rights and social concerns.
This event took place in anticipation of the 28th Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates. During his opening remarks, Secretary-General of SCPD Khaled Mahdi emphasized that the event aimed to discuss the importance of a just transition and its implications on the economy and society in light of climate change. He underscored the need to raise public awareness about these issues and reaffirmed Kuwait’s commitment to achieving a just transition that considers human rights, social protection and the future requirements of the labor market.
Mahdi also highlighted Kuwait’s efforts to embrace renewable energy projects, including the development of environmental fuels, Al-Zour refinery, Al-Shagaya renewable energy complex, and other initiatives. Mahdi explained that Kuwait’s strategies include diversifying energy sources by adopting renewable energy solutions, transitioning from fossil fuels to liquefied gas, enhancing oil refineries to produce cleaner fuels and establishing a national carbon reduction strategy extending until 2050.
He stressed that a just transition was a global approach to addressing climate change and emphasized Kuwait’s commitment to mitigating the dangers of climate change through collaborative efforts. Head of the European Union Delegation Anne Koistinen said the event not only highlighted the urgent need to address climate change challenges and secure a sustainable future for younger generations, but also emphasized the importance of cooperative efforts in achieving these goals. She stated that the European Union was ready to collaborate with Kuwait, ILO and like-minded partners in advancing a just transition.
“Our collective efforts are a significant step towards creating a more sustainable future based on principles of human rights and dignity,” she said. Peter Rademaker, Deputy Regional Director and Director of the Decent Work Team at the ILO Regional Office for Arab States, emphasized the collaborative nature of the event and the joint commitment of all participating parties.
He noted that achieving a just transition that creates decent job opportunities and leaves no one behind requires sound public policies, effective social dialogue among all affected groups and respect for fundamental labor principles and rights. Rademaker concluded by emphasizing the event’s role in developing innovative ways to protect the environment, eradicate poverty and promote social justice, both regionally and globally, ahead of the next COP28 summit in the United Arab Emirates.