COP28: Progress for a just transition but big gaps remain
The ITUC welcomes the inclusion of references to labour rights and social protection in the Just Transition Work Programme adopted at the COP28 climate talks and recognition of the continuing work undertaken by trade unions around the world to tackle climate change.
Nevertheless, the absence of any reference to workers and their unions in the key COP28 “Global Stocktake”, which tracks progress in countries around the world, is a significant omission and indicates the scale of the work required to ensure its inclusion in the coming years.
Worrying gaps remain in the global ambition to keep the world temperature rise under 1.5C, and the lack of an overall commitment to fully engage with trade unions in transitioning away from fossil fuels and in other vital areas of climate action will hinder progress, as it risks leaving workers and their communities behind.
While the formation of the Loss and Damage Fund is a positive step, efforts must be made to ensure it is financed adequately to support less wealthy countries to invest in mitigation projects that will reduce the impacts of global warming and undo the damage already being done to lives, livelihoods, infrastructure and the biosphere.
ITUC General Secretary Luc Triangle said: “We are resolute in our commitment to continue and increase our action for a just transition to a sustainable future for humanity and the ecosystem.
“Some progress has been made at this COP, however, much more needs to be done. The fact that certain countries continue to block any reference to unions in the Global Stocktake and elsewhere reflects poorly on those countries and, more importantly, will hold back progress.
“Government climate negotiators have recognised that explicit reference to labour rights, decent work, quality jobs and social protection is necessary. However, sufficient financing must be delivered coherently and the ILO Just Transition Guidelines, agreed by tripartite discussions between union, government and employer representatives, need to be put into practice.”
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) represents 191 million members of 337 affiliates in 167 countries and territories.
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