29 november 2012

Building a sound emission reduction regime:

Trade unions call for a global regime which follows the IPCC scenario for reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions by 85% by the year 2050 and emphasise the need for interim targets for this to be achieved, whereby developed countries assume an emission reduction target of at least 25-40% by 2020 based on 1990 levels and major emitters in developing countries and countries that have surpassed a certain development threshold take actions to deviate from projected emission trajectories through investments, for example in renewable and clean energy efficient technologies, public transport or sustainable agricultural practices.

The international labour movement considers it essential to avoid a gap in emission reduction commitments and to preserve the legallybinding and top-down aspects that a 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will bring. Therefore we want to see in Doha the highest possible number of developed country governments joining the 2nd commitment period with the highest emission target already ‘pledged’ or more, and with a review procedure which will allow countries to increase their commitments in between periods.

It is also key that the outcome of the Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) stream contributes to building a top-down regime outside the KP, aligning “pledges” from the developed world to the 25-40% emission reduction target, changing language from pledges to “quantified emission reduction commitments” and agreeing on com- mon accounting rules, including on compliance. In this context, and taking into account the dif- ferent responsibilities and capacities of devel- oped and developing countries, we also expect an increase in the ambition of major emitters in developing countries, including NAMA pledges for those who have not done so and clarity on the support needed to make them possible.

A sound emission reductions’ regime must be designed in parallel with a responsible strategy for transforming and developing clean industries, empowering workers to access jobs created in them and support- ing them and their families in the transition (see under Operationalising Just Transition)

Climate Finance: The international trade un- ion movement is also convinced that unless cli- mate finance is made available in the long term, promises and plans for achieving a low-carbon and climate-resilient world will remain empty words. The Green Climate Fund can play a ma- jor role in financing adaptation and scaling up low carbon investments, provided it develops a sound governance, where civil society stake- holders, including trade unions, can voice their proposals and concerns at all stages of the deci- sion making process (from the Board to ground projects), where solid social and environmental safeguards (including ILO labour standards) are developed, and, most important, sufficient funds are provided to undertake its tasks.

The launch of the GCF requires new pledges on short term funding, and a rapid workplan devel- oped on Long Term Finance where public sourc- es are detailed, including innovative sources such as the Financial Transactions Tax.

Operationalising Just Transition: Parties have already agreed (in COP1) on the importance of ensuring a “Just Transition which will create decent work and good quality jobs in the transition towards a low emission and climate-resilient society”. It is time to give better guidance on how to mainstream that mandate in UNFCCC decisions. This means incorporating different dimensions of the world of work in some of current discussions, such as the role of social protection in the work of the Adapta- tion Committee and the ADP, skills development in the work of the Technology Centers, and joining efforts with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2013 for developing a standard defining roles and responsibilities of governments, employ- ers and trade unions in organizing the transition towards a low emission, climate resilient society.

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