The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) depicts the bleakest picture yet of the climate emergency.
The report makes it clear that some thresholds to take action have been passed, leading to irreversible losses and damage, and that this decade is the only window of opportunity to act and that waiting for technological fixes to be invented to “catch up” is not a solution.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres described the report as an “atlas of human suffering”. He added: “The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”
Rapid and just transitions
ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “We understand the urgency and support this report’s endorsement that governments must include justice and social protection as a part of their climate adaption measures.
“Climate-resilient development is enabled when governments, civil society and the private sector prioritise equity and justice. Working people must be central to the plans for rapid and just transitions. The ITUC’s global day of action to Climate- and Employment-Proof Our Work, #CEPOW, on 22 June, takes these demands to the workplace.
“We agree with the report’s recommendation that social protection programmes must include a climate adaption focus, and they must be supported by basic services and infrastructure.
“The report is clear that the worst impacts of climate change are already hitting some of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable communities. A just response is to provide social protection to these people, financed by a global social protection fund as part of a new social contract.
“Most importantly, this has to happen now with just transition plans in every country and every company. The impacts are already devastating for both people and the planet.
“Adaption and mitigation actions must also be implemented immediately. These are vital investments in resilience and the capacity to anticipate and respond to future shocks.”
Photo: AFP The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) represents 200 million members of 332 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.