Climate change related labour market implications for the construction industry

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Published Version.

Glynn, P.J. & Taplin, R. (2011). Climate change related labour market implications for the construction industry. Paper presented at the 17th Annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) conference, Gold Coast, Australia.

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2011 HERDC submission. FoR code: 050205

© Copyright Peter J. Glynn & Ros Taplin, 2011


Climate change will have a considerable impact on the construction and property industries. More specifically, policies and regulations made with regard to construction labour have future implications for the availability of climate adaptive property. Construction is an industry that is labour intensive, highly regulated and a significant adopter of the latest technology. The link between climate change and the labour market was recognised by the governments and others when they included provision for a “just transition” in the negotiating text for the now unrealised United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Agreement for COP15. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in its Statement to COP15 articulated its belief that climate change was an issue for the workplace and that it was therefore an issue for collective bargaining.

This paper examines the implications of climate change for the construction industry. Are policymakers and regulators sufficiently informed and aware to accommodate the workplace impacts of climate change and the requirements of a low carbon workplace? Are actors in the workplace sufficiently informed to effectively implement government initiatives? Issues that are explored in the paper include:
• consultation with social partners and communities,
• training for workers in the area of adaptive construction and new cleaner technologies
• the role of collective bargaining, and
• green and “decent” job creation



This document has been peer reviewed.