Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 9

Final Report from the AFL-CIO and International Trade Union Confederation on the Copenhagen Accord on Climate Change

The U.S. labor movement and the ITUC, 326 strong and the third largest NGO, were a visible presence and a strong union voice at the Copenhagen climate talks. Over the course of the two weeks the AFL-CIO worked closely with the ITUC, the U.S. State Department negotiating team and other organizations in a coordinated efforts to get just transition language incorporated into the agreement. Our efforts paid off in getting two paragraphs on just transition accepted by developed and developing nations. One paragraph identified the need for the participation of stakeholder, civil society (unions), in decision-making on climate change. The second identified a just transition: "Realizing that addressing climate change requires a paradigm shift towards building a low-emission society that offers substantial opportunities and ensures continued high growth and sustainable development, based on innovative technologies and more sustainable production and consumption, while ensuring a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs" In the international setting the identification of quality jobs and decent work represents a major breakthrough for the trade union movement. These words provide a direct reference to ILO conventions on employment with livable wages, benefits and working conditions and the legal rights of workers to organize, form unions and bargain collectively. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the final negotiations, the Copenhagen Accord is a completely new document that did not include any text from any of the negotiating working groups. Thus, the Accord does not include our just transition language or other sections where consensus had been achieved. However, this may not be a permanent situation. The Accord is viewed as a living document, an interim agreement. Talks will continue over the coming year towards a final agreement. We must lobby governments to incorporate build just transition and other elements where agreement had been achieved.

Highlights of U.S. Labor Delegation Activity The U.S. labor delegation was double the size of the ones that attended COP 13 in Bali and COP 14 in Poznan, Poland. This year we had nearly 40 representatives from the AFL-CIO, AFT, ATU, IBB, IBEW, IUE-CWA, Laborers, Oregon AFL-CIO, SEIU, TWU, USW, UWUA, and Change to Win. We had two international presidents Mike Langford and Terry OSullivan and other international officers including Gary Ruffner UWUA Sec-Tres. VPs: Dick Iannuzzi AFT, Ron Heintzman ATU, Gerry Hudson SEIU, and Ray Pocinco and Ted Nealy Laborers. The Blue-Green Alliance and their Executive Director, Dave Foster (USW), played a visible and active role throughout the negotiations and the Cornell Global Labor Institute worked closely with the AFL-CIO and ITUC in preparing delegates and workshops for the World of Work conference.

State Department Coordination The AFL-CIO worked closely with the State Department negotiating team. We began our just transition efforts with the ITUC last spring and lobbied for it in the months preceding the COP 15. This paid off with the Administration eventually embracing our language. We also found ourselves closely aligned with the State Department negotiators on issues critical to U.S. unions such as border adjustments, the participation of advanced developing nations such as China and India in setting emission targets, and transparency in verification of emission reductions. The AFL-CIO, environmental and business organizations were all prepared to hold joint press events in support of the U.S. government negotiating position but it never came to that. U.S. Government Meetings The U.S. Labor delegation held meetings with U.S. government officials in which we explained our international just transition efforts and showed how they were linked to our domestic legislative efforts. In each meeting we pressed the need for a national strategy that linked our climate investments to domestic job creation. Individual unions had time to speak to specific industry concerns. We also stressed out interest in working with these agencies in partnering in industry development when we returned home. Our delegates were very pleased with the course of these discussions. We met with the following individuals: Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator Gary Locke, Secretary, Department of Commerce Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary, Department of Energy Congressional Staff for climate legislation Congressional Delegation: Due to imitations restricting entry to the Bella Center we were only able to meet informally with delegation members. Most people got to speak with them at the Blue-Green/AFL-CIO/ITUC reception that Pelosi, Miller, Rangel, Waxman, Markey, Levin, Blumenauer, and Ryan. Each spoke and mingled with the crowd. State Department Briefings and U.S. Forums Delegates had the opportunity to attend state department briefings each evening up until the second week when ongoing negotiations led to several being canceled. In these candid events our lead negotiators provided candid assessments of the state of negotiations. Many delegates also participated in the U.S. forums. These were an impressive display of technology and series of presentations across the two weeks by Cabinet Secretaries and other featured speakers. It was also the site of many informal meetings with government officials. World of Work (WoW)Conference:

December 14-16 international trade union conference at LO Denmark with multiple Blue-Green and ITUC/AFL-CIO sponsored workshops. These covered everything from building alliances to carbon capture and sequestration. 20 Union Blogs We had a team of bloggers giving their individual union perspectives on what they were seeing and doing in Copenhagen. In all we produced 20 blogs. Several people produced both a blog for the AFL-CIO page as well as writing more for their own blogs. For example, Barbara Byrd blogged regularly for the Oregon AFL-CIO and Gary Ruffner did several for the UWUA, something they had never done before. The TUC requested and received a special blog from the AFL-CIO. The Campaign for Americas Future, ITUC and PSI International also carried our blogs. In addition, pictures were sent back to accompany the blogs.

Results and Recommendations Obama Administration and U.S. State Department The AFL-CIO worked closely with the State Department negotiating team. They came to embrace the jobs framework and the positive message just transition offered. The AFLCIO, our affiliates and the Blue Green Alliance were highly visible and the meetings with government officials and Congress thus cementing our role internationally and domestically as key stakeholders. Just Transition and the International Trade Union Confederation The work the AFL-CIO has engaged in with the with the ITUC on climate change over the past three years led to a very successful effort in Copenhagen in support of just transition language. From the beginning, the ITUC and its affiliates sought to inject a social and economic dimension in what had been primarily an environmental discussion. In simple terms, we want a cleaner planet and good jobs. Over the past year the term a just transition came to capture the ideas we were promoting in a climate agreement. The Green Jobs resolution passed by the 2009 AFL-CIO convention summarized what we sought in U.S. climate legislation as well as internationally with the ITUC In many respects, the AFL-CIO and several other organizations such as the ICEM were instrumental in shaping the idea and message of just transition in the lead up to the June 2009 Bonn climate meetings. It became an umbrella for the ideas that addressed the opportunity for investment/job creation and shifted the focus from one solely dedicated to responding to community devastation and job loss. We needed both vision and reaction in a balanced statement. It is the approach that we have taken over the past three years within the Federation. Our efforts paid off in getting

language that both the developed and developing nations accepted. The Obama Administration and other nations came to embrace just transition as a much needed positive message. It has been a remarkable achievement in such a short timeframe. However, all our successful efforts have been held in abeyance. We had succeeded in getting the just transition in the text but the final Accord set aside all the negotiated text. The UN will have to decide what comes next. They can choose to start all over on text or to build upon text they actually reached agreement. The AFL-CIO and ITUC will work to get the incorporate our just transition text and other language agreed to in Copenhagen rather than start over. Another outcome of the Copenhagen Accord may be a changed negotiating process. Over the coming year/s a G20 group that includes some additional nations will be the way forward to a final agreement. That is who negotiated the Accord because negotiating with 193 nations at once proved to be impossible.

Key Results We succeeded in getting consensus between the G77 and developed nations on just transition language. The close work on climate change has served to strengthened the AFL-CIO relationship with the ITUC. In addition, our input has helped define the just transition concept. There was a changed perception about the U.S. government by ITUC delegates as they became convinced of the sincerity of the U.S. negotiating teams efforts on just transition. There is a strengthened relationship with the State Department on climate change issues. We found ourselves with a common agenda on our key domestic issues and they truly came to embrace just transition as a much needed message that resonated with the Administrations goals. We worked well together and they got insights on the G77 thinking because of our international union connections. Meeting with cabinet officials, members of Congress and key Congressional staff on climate, industry development job and creation agenda further enhanced our credibility and further established our bona fides as international players on these issues.

Recommendations Send a letter from President Trumka to Special Envoy Todd Stern recognizing their hard work, support for key issues and their efforts with the international labor community on just transition. The letter should also recognize negotiator Trigg Talley for his efforts as

the lead on the just transition language and encourage the State Department to build upon existing text rather than starting over in the coming months. (See draft) Recognizing the AFL-CIOs special relationship with President Lula we should alert the State Department and offer to help reach out to him. Schedule a follow up debrief with the State Department for the Energy Task Force and the Copenhagen delegates. Hold a follow up meeting between President Trumka (possibly EC) and Todd Stern Send a letter from president Trumka to Guy Ryder and Sharan Burrows congratulating them on their leadership and efforts on behalf of all unions. Remain engaged and intensify our work with the Obama Administration, State Department and the ITUC efforts in the coming year. Seek opportunities in which our international union connections can help play a bridging role as we did on just transition. Coordinate with the ITUC on strategy for dealing with a different more streamlined negotiating process that may be comprised of the G20 nations and others engaged in drafting the Copenhagen Accord. Participate in the Bonn meeting in June and Mexico City COP 16 meeting next December.

Addendum: A Declaration, Negotiations and Domestic and International Challenges

The Copenhagen climate negotiations ended Saturday December 19 in a declaration rather than a treaty. President Obama spoke to the heads of state meeting at noon on Friday and then conducted 6 hours of direct negotiations with key developed and developing nations. President Lula of Brazil had opened the door to important concessions on the role of developing nations but, according to all our contacts via the ITUC, environmental and business organizations, it was China that refused to move on many issues. The Guardian newspaper reported that the Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, in a diplomatic snub, sent a second-tier official in the country's foreign ministry to sit opposite Obama, in the face-to-face meeting of world leaders while he sat in a private room nearby. At one point President Obama went directly to Jinbao to get some answers on verification arousing the ire of Jinbaos surrogates. There was real frustration over Chinas actions and confusion over China and Indias refusal to let the group set targets even for

developed nations. However, each signed on to the Accord that does break new ground in moving all the parties forward. The primary international opponents of the Copenhagen Accord are oil states. Venezuela, Sudan, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Cuba voted against the Accord. The first three nations are oil-producing states that would lose major revenue if countries reduce their global warming pollution by using less oil. Sudan also acted as a proxy during negotiations for Chinas opposition. The latter two nations are clients of Venezuela. The ability of a handful of petro-states to block the accord from being endorsed by the entire U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change at Copenhagen suggests the flawed nature of the United Nations process that requires unanimity among 193 nations. Opposition will not stop those signing onto the accord from moving forward but many observers believe that the outcome of this meeting suggests that alternative venues will play a larger role in the design and implementation of future agreements.

Leadership and Negotiating the Future China and the U.S. remain the critical players in the shaping of a global climate agreement. The group of nations that shaped the Copenhagen Accord (G20 and other key emitters) will likely drive the UN process. The climate issues are part of a changing geopolitical alignment that the Obama Administration and Special Envoy Todd Stern recognized from the very beginning. In his first speech after his appointment he outlined an approach to China that was far broader, one that encompassed national security, trade, climate and more. From the climate side, the November 2009 announcements of a series of joint R&D energy initiatives with China laid the groundwork to reach for an agreement in Copenhagen. The issues agreed to in Copenhagen and the roadblocks show how intermingled the economic, climate, trade, currency and development issues are. Our efforts going forward require a well defined national interest, a national energy and manufacturing strategy, the ability to clearly communicated our resolve, and to be both bilateral and international in scope. There are those who will argue that nothing was accomplished in Copenhagen. Congressional Republicans held a press conference at the Bella Center to deny that there is any climate problem at all. Neither is true. The process went as far as it could go with important progress being made. Commitments were made by developing nations who for years held up the Kyoto Protocol as an excuse for taking no action. The outcomes from Copenhagen can be an impetus for action. The burden is now on the U.S. to take our own steps to lower our carbon footprint. That means passing climate legislation in 2010. The nation has every reason to act. The science tells us the consequences of rapidly increasing carbon levels in the atmosphere. The investments we make in energy efficiency, clean energy technology from renewables and CCS to nuclear and electric

cars will create good jobs that our economy desperately needs today and tomorrow. This is environmental pragmatism, economic opportunity and international leadership.

Lessons Learned The final document, the Copenhagen Accord, laid out a pathway for major polluting nations to start reducing global warming pollution. It also sets expectation for U.S. domestic action on climate change. There were important achievements and as the Center for American Progress notes meaningful insights into how the United States can gain from leading the world toward a new international clean-energy agreement. There were several lessons learned for moving forward: It is impossible to negotiate an agreement with 193 nations at one time in a public forum. Posturing clearly trumped process; Process requires discipline and strong chairs to bring people together. At times it was chaos with last minute pages of new demands and ones that unraveled things previously agreed to; The G20 nations (or the Major Economies Forum, MEF which includes the 17 largest emitters in the world) plus a group of additional key emitter nations are the ones needed to come to an agreement which is basically how the Accord was done; Transparency/verification and concerns over the potential accountability was the main stumbling block with China. While there is an announced compromise it remains an open-ended issue.

A Brief Overview of the Copenhagen Accord Key Points of the Accord The president played a major role in crafting the Accord hammered out by 28 countries and accepted by 188 by the end of the meeting. Only five countriesBolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Sudanrefused the accord. Committed parties are required to submit national action plans for emission reductions by the end of January 2010 that are consistent with the agreements stated goal of limiting global temperature increases to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The accord stipulates that countries should consider further strengthening this goal by limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius with no specific targets. Most expect this to be part of an binding agreement for COP 16 in Mexico City next December

The accord allows nations to undertake a full range of policies that reduce pollution, rather than limiting qualifying policies to economy-wide pollution caps. CAP reports that current and pending policies among the worlds 17 major carbon polluters will yield DisplayText cannot span more than one line! Developing Nations Unlike the Kyoto Protocol major polluting developing countries, including China, India, South Africa, and Brazil, are now poised to make transparent emissions reductions or reductions in pollution rates. Much remains to be to be done but this represents a major shift and is the first time that developing countries have agreed to binding emission reductions in an international agreement. First-ever compromise to measure, report, and verify pollution reductions The accord includes a compromise between the United States and China to verify pollution reductions according to rigorous and transparent guidelines depending on the source of financing for the reductions. All reductions are subject to international consultation and analysis. As a New York Times observed, China is now a player in the effort to combat climate change in a way it has never been, putting measurable emissions reductions targets on the table and accepting verification. China has set a target of reducing carbon per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. India has announced a decrease in carbon intensity of 24 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Alone these t argets raise concerns but when coupled with their other clean energy and climate measures it will result in reductions in China of 13 percent below business-as-usual emissions by 2020 and 19 percent below business as usual emissions in India by 2020. Financial Commitments Developed countries committed significantly more financial resources than ever before to developing countries for mitigation, adaptation, and forest conservation. The accord establishes a fast start fund to provide $30 billion from 2010-2012 for assistance to developing countries, including funds for forestry and a commitment to mobilizing $100 billion a year to address the needs of developing countries by 2020. Fast Start Fund commitments: Japan $15 billion, UE $10.5 billion, U.S. fair share contingent upon commitment by developing nations to make emission reductions transparent U.S. commitment of $1 billion for avoided REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) matched by other countries for a total of $3.5 billion in next 3 years. Global goal is to cut deforestation by half by 2020, which would equal eliminating emissions from the entire global transportation sector.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative, which will contribute $85 million to a global fund of $350 million over five years to assist developing nations with adoption of clean-energy technology.

U.S. Labor Delegation for Copenhagen

Bob Baugh Abraham Breehey Barbara Byrd Bill Banig Bill Borwegen Carl Wood Claudia Preparata Christopher Traci David Foster David Johnson Donald Caswell Ed Watt Gene Trisko Gerald Hudson Gary Ruffner Jim Hunter Jon Hunt Laura Caruso Lauren Asplen Michael Fishman Michael Langford Raymond Pocino Richard Iannuzzi Roger Toussaint Ron Heintzman Roxanne Brown Rod Bennet Terence. O'Sullivan Terrence M. Healy Ted Green William Bergfeld Carol Tyson Sean Sweeney Jill Kubit Lara Skinner

Executive Director Director of Legislative Affairs Secretary-Treasurer Dir. Governental Affairs Health and Safety Director Natl Regulatory Affairs Director Research Director Executive Director Coordinator Director, Comm. & Education Director of Health & Safety Vice President Secretary-Treasurer Director, Utility Division President/Business Agent Director of Policy Assistant to the President President President Vice President Vice President Vice President Vice President Asst. Legislative Director Asst. Legislative Director President Vice President Advisor to General President Executive Asst. to President