Fighting Climate Change in the Building, Wood and Forestry Sectors

That is the conclusion in the BWI's report on combating climate change that was released earlier this year.


The recommendations in the report are:


  • Civil society group, workers and their representatives should be included in climate change discussions at all levels.

  • Comprehensive and coordinated capital and industrial planning of the investments proposed by the IPCC are required to keep temperature increases within the 20 threshold. Simply because something can be sold for a profit does not mean it will provide for the general welfare in a carbon constrained world.

  • Austerity budgets should be replaced with significant public investments and loan programmes, aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting social justice funded by carbon based tax systems based on the polluter pays concept and capital transaction or wealth taxes. A portion of the revenues should be allocated to assisting geographic areas with the largest at-risk populations to become climate change refugees adopt new carbon reduction/mitigation/adaptation technologies.

  • The World Trade Organization must recognise the need to promote and protect locally based carbon reducing technologies (especially in terms of building energy retro- fitting) and exempt firms who advance culturally sensitive, lower carbon alternatives.

  • Carbon abatement technologies must be shared with the world, and workers need to receive adequate vocational training to use carbon abatement technologies immediately.

  • All public sector tenders should include requirements for calculating carbon reduction options as well as full compliance with ILO (International Labour Organisation) core labour standards and be given equal weight with traditional costs in determining the competitiveness of all bids.

  • National central banks and international development banks should follow and require all receiving funds to follow the core labour standards3 of the ILO and develop carbon reduction specific additions.

  • Uniform building codes and standards need to include carbon abatement and emission reduction targets immediately. Existing buildings should be retrofitted as quickly as possible.

  • Public procurement systems, as well as all firms receiving public funds, should mandate that all wood fibre products are sourced from sustainably managed forests from either of the two international forest certification schemes, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) until such time as a legally binding agreement, whose standards exceed the existing voluntary forest certification standards of the two systems, is ratified by a majority of nations.

  • Carbon calculations must be developed that take into consideration where the products or services are consumed as well as where they are produced, and the share of carbon emissions allocated accordingly.

Download the report here