World’s Unions Criticise Decision to Hold 2012 Climate Summit in Qatar

The decision to allow Qatar, notorious for its violations of workers’ rights, to host the 2012 UN climate change summit has been strongly criticised by the world’s main trade union body, the ITUC.

“Huge economic transformation is needed to tackle climate change. This massive task can only be achieved if working people’s rights are respected – it cannot be simply imposed from above. Qatar has an appalling record of ignoring workers’ rights, especially migrants, and the decision to hold next year’s climate summit there sends a totally wrong message and risks delaying vital action. Either Qatar must move urgently to implement labour laws in line with international standards, or another host country should be found for the COP18 talks,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

The decision to hold the COP18 Conference in Qatar was taken today in Durban by the UNFCCC UNFCCC The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit held in Rio in June 1992. The objective of this treaty is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. However, the treaty is legally non-binding. It was signed by more than 180 governments and promotes the principles of common but differentiated responsibility and precautionary action. *, on the eve of the COP17 Conference, involving 194 governments and with a wide range of civil society organisations, including more than 250 trade union representatives from around the world.

*United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change