Economic Development

Get ready for a ginormous 400 million new eco-friendly and tech gigs about to stir things up and even out the playing field!

A year after the UN launched an initiative to accelerate green and digital job creation, and expand social protection, the Secretary-General on Friday urged world leaders to “put people first” by making massive investments in their future wellbeing.

According to António Guterres, the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions aims to rebalance societies by putting decent jobs and social protection at the centre of sustainable development.

“The path of inaction leads to economic collapse and climate catastrophe, widening inequalities and escalating social unrest”, which could leave “billions trapped in vicious circles of poverty and destitution”, he warned a High-Level meeting during the 77th General Assembly in New York.


Female construction workers help to build the foundation for a wind farm in Thailand.

Countries taking the lead

Mr. Guterres commended the actions of countries such as Togo, which deployed innovative digital solutions to expand social protection to hard-to-reach populations, and South Africa, which recently launched a Just Energy Transition partnership.

“It is imperative that we provide the support needed – at speed and at scale – to keep the momentum and ambition of these and similar initiatives alive”, he underscored.

He said the present economic system is unfair, boosting inequalities and pushing more people into poverty, and that’s why it requires a deep structural reform.

“We are working hard to achieve that – but change won’t happen overnight. In the interim, the Global Accelerator is a critical tool to help provide immediate support to people in need and advance action towards transformative change for all”, he said.

The initiative aims to create 400 million new decent jobs—especially in the green, care and digital economies— and extend social protection to the over four billion people currently without coverage.

It is also meant to be a tool to help the world manage the massive transformations in areas such as digital, climate, or demographic change, that will fundamentally change societies in the coming decades.


A woman installs a solar panel on a roof in Bhutan.

Youth at the centre

Meanwhile, The UN’s Special Envoy for Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, reminded world leaders that young people must be at the centre of all strategies and actions regarding jobs and social protection.

The total number of unemployed youths worldwide is estimated to reach 73 million in 2022, 6 million above pre pandemic levels in 2019, young women are the hardest hit”, she underscored, adding that young people also experience systemic legal and financial barriers to benefitting from social protection policies and programmes.

“To truly shift this paradigm, we should work with all people including young people as agents of change and not only beneficiaries, and at every level of the just transitions this initiative seeks to enable”, Ms. Wickramanayake said.


Domestic labourers comprise a significant part of the global workforce in informal employment and are among the most vulnerable groups of workers.

Addressing the bottlenecks

Echoing the words of the Secretary-General, the International Labour Organization’s chief, Guy Ryder, warned that the world is on “red alert”, in the event that effective responses to the overlapping climate and cost of living crises are not found.

“We will see massive suffering, more instability, and potentially more conflict.  But it doesn’t have to be this way”, he explained.

Mr. Ryder underscored that it is crucial to address the current bottlenecks to expand and safeguard the 3,000 social protection and labour market stimulus measures put in place by governments at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We all know what those bottlenecks are: the lack of financing that is scalable, sustainable, socially inclusive and it supports just transitions; the persistent challenges of informality; the limited fiscal space; and the lack of institutional capacity in many countries”, he added.

© ILO/Sven Torfinn

Young female workers pack beans on a farm in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Better lives for billions

The ILO Director General emphasized that the Global Accelerator is a UN proposition to “collectively address these bottlenecks”, and to change the life of billions for the better.

“The four billion women, men and children who have no social protection; the two billion workers in the informal economy; and the millions of men and women who risk losing their jobs and incomes”, on a level “not seen for a generation”, he noted.

Mr. Ryder highlighted that the Global Accelerator was not a distraction from the crisis of climate, fuel, food and finance, but instead a “crucial component” of the necessary global response to address them.



  1. Are these 400 million jobs really going to be eco-friendly and tech-related? How will this initiative impact traditional job sectors?

    1. Yes, KateJohnson, the initiative aims to create 400 million new eco-friendly and tech gigs, focusing on balancing traditional job sectors with the need for sustainable development. By investing in green and digital jobs, we can mitigate the impact on traditional sectors while fostering a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future.

  2. António Guterres is absolutely right in emphasizing the importance of putting people first and investing in their future wellbeing. The Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions represents a crucial initiative to rebalance societies and promote sustainable development through decent jobs and social protection. Inaction could lead to economic collapse, widening inequalities, and social unrest, leaving billions trapped in poverty. It’s inspiring to see countries like Togo and South Africa taking the lead with innovative solutions for social protection and energy transitions.

  3. It’s inspiring to see global leaders taking steps towards a more sustainable future by prioritizing job creation and social protection. The initiative led by António Guterres is crucial in addressing the economic and environmental challenges we face. I fully support the call to invest in people’s wellbeing for a more equitable society.

  4. It’s exciting to see the push for eco-friendly and tech gigs creating more opportunities. António Guterres is right in emphasizing the importance of investing in people’s future wellbeing. We can’t afford to ignore the impact of inaction on our economies, environment, and societies. It’s time to prioritize decent jobs and social protection for a sustainable future.

  5. Will these new eco-friendly and tech gigs really help in creating more decent jobs and improving social protection as the article suggests?

  6. Will these new eco-friendly and tech gigs be accessible to individuals from all backgrounds? How will these investments truly prioritize the wellbeing of people globally?

  7. “This initiative sounds promising and crucial for addressing the pressing challenges of our time. It’s inspiring to see global leaders prioritize people’s wellbeing and the creation of sustainable jobs. Let’s hope for a better future for all.”

  8. It’s great to see global initiatives like this one paving the way for a more sustainable and inclusive future. We can’t afford to delay taking action any longer – the time to invest in green and tech jobs is now!

  9. It’s inspiring to see initiatives like the Global Accelerator on Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions taking place. I believe that investing in sustainable job creation and social protection is crucial for a fairer and more balanced society. Let’s heed António Guterres’ warning and prioritize the future wellbeing of people through massive investments.

  10. Will the new eco-friendly and tech gigs have a direct impact on reducing inequalities in societies?

  11. António Guterres is absolutely right about the importance of investing in creating decent jobs and social protection for just transitions. We cannot afford to continue on the path of inaction, which will only lead to economic collapse and increased social unrest. It’s time for world leaders to prioritize the wellbeing of their people and make the necessary investments for a sustainable future.

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