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.