The Solidarity Fund in Action: Climate Change

a) ITUC-AP policy on Climate Change
The IPCC 2007 reports showed the scientific evidence of global warming and its impacts that can cause serious harm to societies, ecosystems and economies if nothing is done to check the rise in global temperature. Various actions are taken by industries, governments and international institutions. International negotiations are also in progress in preparations for expiry of Kyoto Protocol Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement adopted in 1997 and linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. in 2012 which set a target of reducing Green house Gasses emission by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012. For instance, the G8 in 2008 proposed a challenging target of GHGs emission, “halve the emission by 2050.” and various schemes of carbon trading are planned and implemented by government and businesses.

COP 13 held in Bali from 3-14 was an important milestone for Post Kyoto Protocol Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement adopted in 1997 and linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. , which, in the Bali Road Map, called for inclusion of developing countries in the global target of GHGs emission. Further negotiation will continue in COP 14 in Poland in 2008 and COP 15 in 2010 in Copenhagen.

As the ITUC-AP Founding Conference instructs us, our policy goal is a sustainable development aiming at least “carbon neutral” situation. Key factors are development of green industries and employment protection in pursuing “green jobs,” decent jobs with high labour standards, good working conditions and incomes, and also high eco-efficiency and low carbon emissions (ILO).

Trade unions should be involved in climate change issues because such issues will have significant impacts on transformation of industries and employment structure, and ultimately, the survival of human beings. The ITUC thus had set up a Task Force on Climate Change that held its first meeting in June 2008. The Task Force is a high-level structure with its members from the ITUC General Council itself. A trade union Ad Hoc Working Group on Climate Change was also set up earlier to specifically work on the issue of climate change. ITUC – Asia Pacific is represented in these structures. A report on Green Jobs produced for UNEP UNEP The United Nations Environment Programme coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing policies and practices. UNEP has played a significant role in developing environmental conventions and has also been active in funding and implementing environment related development projects. -ILO.ITUC was launched in September 2008. The ITUC-AP commenced its action on climate change in 2007.

ITUC side event at COP 13
Date and venue: 12 December 2007, Bali
Programme: Green Jobs and Skills: Drivers for Climate Transitions. ITUC – AP was one of the panel speakers.

Climate Change Task Force
Date and Venue: 16 June 2008
Agenda: Plan of action for trade unions and climate change

Ad Hoc Working Group
Date and Venue: 15 September 2008, Brussels
Agenda: Preparations for COP 14 was the main issue.. A Trade Union _ Statement fpr COP 14 is being prepared

Regional Consultation on climate change
Date and venue: 15 September 208, Brussels
Agenda: Regional actions taken and plans for further actions at the regional levels on climate change issues.

b) ITUC – Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Environmental Protection, Sustainable Development and Employment 1
Date and Venue: 25 – 26 March 2008, Bangkok
Number of participants: 43 (18 women)
Objectives:
To discuss present issues on environment, sustainable development and employment
To discuss international instruments – Kyoto Protocol Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement adopted in 1997 and linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. and Bali Roadmap
To develop trade union policy on environment – global warming and climate change
To map out trade union action plan to meet the challenges of global warming and climate change particularly on employment issues.
Scientific evidence of global warming and its impacts that can cause serious harm to societies, ecosystem and economies if nothing is done to check the rise in global temperature was given its political endorsement at the UN Conference on Climate Change held in Bali in December 2007. The way forward is to have green sustainable development strategies that include green and decent jobs. Trade unions have thus to be involved in climate change issues to ensure that not only green but also decent jobs is at the center of development strategies. Conclusions and Action Plans of the conference is annexed (Annexure 18).

c) ITUC – Asia Pacific Surveys

Survey on Trade Union Policy and Actions on Climate Change Issues
A survey was carried out among the affiliates on the issues of climate change. Out of the 14 affiliates that replied to the questionnaire only 4 or 28.6% of the respondents said that they had a policy on climate change and had taken actions to address the issue. The remaining 10 or 71.4% of the respondents said that they did not have any such policy.