"Climate finance is not a gift. And it’s not charity either. It’s a commitment taken based on the capacity and responsibility of the developed world, so that developing countries can start adapting and preparing their economies to the massive changes ahead." — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer, at COP23, speaking on behalf of ITUC.
Bonn, Germany (07 Nov. 2017) — The 2017 UN Climate Change Conference opened on November 6 with the aim of launching nations towards the next level of ambition needed to tackle global warming and put the world on a safer and more prosperous development path.
The Conference, coming just 2 years after the landmark adoption of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, will also further fuel momentum among cities, states, regions, territories, business and civil society in support of national climate action plans, the internationally-agreed temperature goal and the wider objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Elisabeth Ballermann, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), is in attendance as part of the Canadian delegation.
Apart from the official agenda of COP23, the People’s Climate Summit is being held in parallel. On the first day of the summit, Ballermann attended a session called The Just Transition, Stop Lying and Start Doing. Participants heard from a number of experts in their fields, such as, Charlotte Loreck (Oeko- Institut / Prognos), Heather Milton-Lightening (Indigenous Climate Action – Canada), Sean Sweeney (Trade Unions for Energy Democracy), Philipp Litz (Agora Energiewende – Germany), and Noelie Audi Dor (The ‘Gastivists’ Networks).
Developed countries have made commitments to help developing countries adapt and plan for massive changes
Ballermann addressed at COP23, on behalf of the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC), on climate change financing. Her statement if found below.
"Since the beginning of our involvement in international climate negotiations, the international trade union movement has put climate finance at the heart of our concerns and demands. Not only this is critical so that we secure the right investments are made in the most vulnerable countries, we have always seen climate finance as key for building trust among Parties,
At a time where governments are about to define the methodology for the facilitative dialogue next year, trade unions think it is key to ensure the $US 100bn dollars a year commitment mark is realised as soon as possible, so that we can all have a healthy discussion on how we build the best possible nationally determined contributions.
Climate finance is not a gift. And it’s not charity either. It’s a commitment taken based on the capacity and responsibility of the developed world, so that developing countries can start adapting and preparing their economies to the massive changes ahead.
Realizing commitments and starting a discussion on how the targets will evolve after 2020 is of critical importance. And non-state actors, in particular in the global north, play a critical role in building social support for those resources being directed where they need to. Despite the multiple budget crisis our countries are facing, be assured the trade union movement will always stand with international solidarity and developed countries commitments being realised.
Finally, Mr. President, we would like to convey the importance of ensuring a better connection between the work of the Green Climate Fund and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, notably on the need for bringing the commitment to securing a Just Transition for workers in the Paris Agreement to the design pipeline of projects under the Green Climate Fund. Additionally, working toward a more coherent approach to investments from other actors in the multilateral space is urgently needed. We think the COP must play a role in aligning those policies.
We stand ready to engage with you and the parties on this issue."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE