Marrakesh UN Climate Conference focuses on implementation of Paris Agreement

22 November 2016 03:48

Amidst considerable global uncertainty, COP22 focused on implementation and finance issues such as the Adaptation Fund and the principle national approach to climate change, Nationally Determined Contributions. The BWI calls for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) to be transparent and inclusive processes that focus on delivering actionable economic and industrial plans aimed at both climate change mitigation and adaption that deliver a just social transition for all. 

According to BWI General Secretary, Ambet Yuson, the BWI concurs with ITUC’s call to have workers at the negotiating table in every country as they develop their NDC action plan.” He continued, 

“Unfortunately, neither UNFCCC or many national governments seem to understand the value of the contribution workers can make to addressing the climate change crisis.
Our members are frequently on the front lines of climate disasters and our members will be first in line to suffer from an ill-conceived de-carbonization transition, our members must be heard. As the world’s largest union of construction and forestry workers, our members know how to build and maintain energy efficient buildings and deliver sustainable forest management.” 

The BWI continues to advocate for an integrated approach to address the climate change crisis. Designing specific technical monitoring and accountability instruments and adequately financing the Adaptation Fund is important. More importantly, world leaders must take action now to plan national economies where reducing carbon pollution takes precedence over business-as-usual and empowering workers over rationalizing economic inequality. 

Too many national governments still believe that the path to a standard of living equal to the OECD countries includes free trade and market based, rather than social or governmental-based, carbon allocation methods, even though it has been known for centuries that markets cannot place an economic value on natural resources much different from the costs of harvesting. 

“It is impossible to discuss climate solutions without also discussing social justice. Likewise, social justice is not possible in the midst of a climate crisis,” said, BWI President Per Olof Sjöö. “Focusing on forest governance issues, and market based incentives to the exclusion of indigenous and workers’ rights and sustainable livelihoods for forest dependent workers deprives the international community of our considerable knowledge, skills, and abilities derived from a lifetime of experience of working and living in the forest.” 

        BWI calls for NDP’s to include:

        • That public sector tenders must have requirements for calculating carbon reduction options as well as full compliance with ILO 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 require all receiving funds to follow the core labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and develop carbon reduction specific projects. 

        • 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 (FSC, PEFC). 

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