A new technical report by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ( UNFCCC) “will deepen the international community’s understanding of the need to consider the impact of climate policies on workers, and the essential role that labour unions have in combatting climate change,” according to Carla Lipsig Mummé, in a press release at the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Climate Change (ACW) website. Professor Lipsig Mummé, ACW Project Director and Principal Investigator, was responding to the recognition in the UNFCC report of ACW’s unique online database of green collective agreements from Canada, the UK, Australia and the U.S.. “I am delighted that our research, produced through a collaboration of academic and organized labour researchers funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, has contributed to intergovernmental climate change negotiations through the UNFCCC” she stated.
The UNFCC report, Just transition of the workforce, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs describes itself as a step-by-step, “how-to” guide for Parties, in particular developing country Parties. It provides a detailed description of the actions and policies of international organizations such as the UNEP and ILO, but also catalogues the research documents of various sources, including international organizations, research institutes and advocacy groups. It utilizes a framework of the qualitative and quantitative impacts of climate change on jobs, and organizes its discussion of mitigation policies using the five principles of a Just Transition, established in the ILO‘s report, Guidelines for a Just Transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all (2015) . The contribution of the labour movement is clearly acknowledged.
At a meeting of ACW international researchers in Vancouver in November, concerns about Just Transition for workers impacted by climate change mitigation measures were high on the agenda. Participants noted with concern that governments are skirting their obligation to assist workers in the transition to a low-carbon economy.