Climate Actions For Just Transition In Bangladesh
Bangladesh is recognized worldwide as one of the countries most vulnerable in relation to global warming and climate change. This is due to its unique geographical location, dominance of floodplains, low elevation from sea, high population density and overwhelming dependence on nature.
The industry and workers of Bangladesh at coastal areas and river sides in agriculture and fishery sector has already identified as most vulnerable group in relation to impacts of global warming in Bangladesh.
Combating global warming is a work place issue as workplaces burn energy consumes resources and generates waste.
Globally, the industry alone is responsible for over half of carbon dioxide emissions increasing the greenhouse effects every year. Making workplaces sustainable is the key to make jobs and productivity sustainable.
We expect to promote best environmental practice and workplaces culture, workplace policy on carbon emission reduction and green productivity issues as well as assist to develop workplace dialogue and co-operation, adaption capacity among workers, employers and local community combating global warming and climate change impacts by national and workplace responses.
Climate change is seriously affecting the lives of workers and communities, and it is expected to be worsen, both regarding the impacts of climate change-related extreme weather events, as well as the impacts of measures designed to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions. There is a need for unions to raise the public profile of climate-relate social issues (employment, income, migration, etc.) and to integrate them within decision-making at all levels and fully and actively engage workers organizations in actions for addressing climate change and the reductions in Greenhouse Gas emissions that are entailed, and for the creation of sustainable employment opportunities with all decent work element in the future low carbon economic world.
Since being recognized in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the agenda of a just transition (JT) to a low carbon economy, from the carbon-intensive fossil fuel based development, has become increasingly important, in part because of the impacts and regularity of extreme climate disasters becoming the new normal. The Working Group-1 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides dire warnings about the impending climate crisis and highlights the vulnerability, particularly of the low-income countries and poor communities in countries across the world. These people are being impacted most with not much cushion to adapt. Then, for the last two years the COVID19 pandemic has further wreaked havoc on lives of the working people, both in formal and informal employment.
Just Transition and Social Protection for Climate Adaptation
Delivering a Just Transition for workers is a crucial driver for climate ambition. The Paris Agreement refers to a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs. Social protection measures need to be integrated in climate adaptation policies.
Climate Change, Just Transition, Green Jobs and Labour
OSHE foundation started work on climate change and labor based on rights issue with a primary project period in between 2008 – 2012 aiming to raise awareness and capacity building for the trade unions and CBOs in Bangladesh on Climate Change, Just Transition and Green Job issues. As an impact of these actions, a common trade union position paper was developed at national level on climate change and environmental issues in 2011; good number of national level trade union leaders were sensitized, number of workers education and awareness materials developed on campaign issues.
In 2021, OSHE implemented a short-term action project with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Bureau of Workers Activities to revitalize OSHE’s work on Just Transition having participation of major six national workers organizations at the national level. The outcomes of these actions were 25-second tire trade union leaders were trained with updated information, social dialogue and advocacy skills on climate change and just transition for workers. Development of 6 organizational level action plans by participants for the period of January to June 2022 on climate-proof work sensitization and awareness building actions to union members at workplaces in following sectors:
Garments, agriculture, energy-power, recycling, construction and transport.
Formation of a national trade union working group to jointly work and support workers organization at national level on climate change and transition advocacy and campaign-related issues.
An unpadded common trade union position paper, forming a digital advocacy platform with the youth and women leaders from the vulnerable climate sector.
Goals and Vision
Increasing the inclusion and participation of trade unions in the processes related to the 2030 agenda in Bangladesh, especially on SDG 13 (climate actions) and SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth)
Improving knowledge and capacity of trade unions in advocating and negotiating for fostering decent work and Just Transition.
Strengthening the collaboration between trade unions and civil society organizations to advocate for acceleration of sustainable development goals, particularly on SDG 13 and SDG 8.