09 October 2023
The Latin America and the Caribbean Ministerial Summit on Environmental Sustainability
Economic Resilience, Green and Just Transition has adopted an Action Plan recognising the need for “coherent labour market policies, relying on effective social dialogue, to facilitate a just transition into new, formal, high-quality green jobs and strengthen the social protection systems”.
TUAC and a delegation of trade unions from Chile took part in the Summit in Costa Rica and stressed the importance of investment in a truly socially just transition, promoting workers’ rights, access to social protection and a fair distribution of costs and benefits of the transition. The delegation also highlighted the need to adopt progressive taxation, and the enforcement of responsible business conduct instruments such as the OECD Guidelines for MNEs.
The LAC region is particularly vulnerable to climate change and biodiversity loss and urgently needs to invest in climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as creating more social cohesion and economic development. Rising inequalities and high rates of informal employment need to be tackled at the same time.
The Summit gathered Ministers of foreign affairs, trade and environment from all over the LAC region to discuss speeding up the transition to a carbon neutral economy.
“TUAC is proud to work with the unions in the region. We will actively engage in next steps towards a just transition, including with the Brazilian presidency of the G20 in 2024"
“Despite high debt and huge levels of inequality, Latin America and the Caribbean have an opportunity to be leaders of a truly socially just transition of the workforce to a low carbon economy, including by promoting collective bargaining and workers rights” said Veronica Nilsson, TUAC General Secretary. “TUAC is proud to work with the unions in the region. We will actively engage in next steps towards a just transition, including with the Brazilian presidency of the G20 in 2024 and the next OECD regional ministerial meeting in Colombia on social inclusion.”
While LAC represents a relatively small share of global greenhouse gas emissions compared to other regions (approximately 8%, a proportion comparable to its population), it contributes strongly to carbon sequestration through its extensive biodiversity and forests. But it is also highly vulnerable to climate risks. According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the Americas have 18% of global extreme weather events associated to climate change, and the economic damage represents 45% of global material losses in the last 50 years.
But the goal of achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050 or earlier has been adopted by only 35% of LAC governments. Only 15% have presented Long Term Strategies, and less than 40% have prepared their National Adaptation Plans. TUAC urges LAC countries to step up their mitigation and adaptation efforts and to coordinate international action to support efforts in the region.