G20 government leaders gathered in Argentina in September under the general theme, “Building consensus for fair and sustainable development”, and within that, the Argentinian leadership has focused on three themes: the future of work, infrastructure for development, and a sustainable food future. Canada’s website regarding the meetings is here.
Of specific interest to WCR readers are the side meetings of the Labour 20 (L20) Engagement Group, where international labour union leaders met on September 4 and 5th under the theme: “An Agenda for Global Policy Coherence.” The L20 press release on September 5 calls on the G20 Labour Ministers to commit to a nine-point plan, which go beyond past commitments regarding equality, job security, and social protection, and include demands around climate change and Just Transition. The detailed, 10- page statement is here , with these climate change-related demands:
“The scale of the industrial transformation needed to comply with the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement is colossal but feasible. The transition to a low-carbon economy that keeps the temperature rise under 2°C requires not only massive investment in new and redesigned jobs, skills training, redeployment in new sectors, but also income guarantees and secure pensions. Social dialogue and collective bargaining are central components of the Just Transition, delivering socio-economic results that work better for everyone, building consensus and easing policy implementation.” ….. “We call for coordination between Labour and Environment and Energy Ministers to support and accompany effective climate change policies with employment measures anticipating sectoral transformations, developing green sectors and skills, and providing social protection measures, following the ILO Just Transition Guidelines; and to adapt in order to deal with the impact of climate change on workers, their families, and communities, including increased heat and other extreme weather events on working conditions.”
Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress represented the CLC, which tweeted at #L20.
A library of all L20 statements, reports and documents is here.
The Group of Twenty (G20) sees itself as the “ leading forum of the world’s major economies that seeks to develop global policies to address today’s most pressing challenges.” Its membership includes the European Union and 19 individual countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition to the government representatives, the following Engagement Groups also meet and issue statements: Business20, Women20, Labour20, Think20, Civil20, Science20 and Youth20 . News releases summarize discussion and policy statements issued, and for 2018, reflect an emphasis on the digital economy and education and skills training. The press release for the discussions of the official G20 Climate Sustainability Working Group is here (August 28) .