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Week one at COP28 comes to an end and unions prepare for the second week

7 December, 2023The general feeling is that this COP can’t be about climate change objective setting and process it must be about solid policies and implementation. Trade unions are at COP28 to make sure that the policies and implementation leave no one behind!

From the COP28 president Sultan al-Jaber’s climate denial claims and rumours of using the summit to make oil and gas deals to questions about civil society activists being able to demonstrate or not, trade unions are pushing forward to make sure that this COP stays on track despite challenges.

At COP28, unions are standing firm on key positions that aim to ensure that workers' rights, just transition principles, and social protections are integral components of climate policies and agreements.

There are over 60 trade unionists present in the ITUC-led delegation, ensuring that all aspects of COP28 are followed and that trade union issues are constantly pushed in negotiations. The COP28 event hosts numerous side events, providing unions with opportunities to engage with key players in climate change debates. This diverse mix includes diverse civil society organizations, government officials, financial sector stakeholders, and company representatives, creating a unique mix of perspectives.

Through coordinated and strategic engagement, trade union activists ensure that workers' concerns are heard, regardless of the limited speaking slots available.

Diana Junquera, IndustriALL Just Transition director is at COP and underlines the significance of this COP in making transformational decisions:

“The Just Transition Work Program (JTWP) is important and unions here at COP are working hard around its negotiation. The reason it’s so important is that it must provide a framework for international and national just transitions. It must address equity, social, economic, and environmental dimensions, aligning with the ILO guidelines adopted by governments at the ILC in June on Just Transition. Labour rights, social dialogue, and protection are being pushed by unions into the climate discussions, emphasizing the need for international justice for a Just Transition.”

IndustriALL will continue to follow the discussions and has been sharing actively on social media around the negotiations and the side events organized at COP28.