29-30 June 2009
DECLARATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
The Socialist International (SI) considers it essential to find a agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol that concludes in 2012. To this end, the 170 socialist, social-democratic and labour SI member parties and organisations in 124 countries, will work to make a success of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009, and which should agree a new international climate plan.
In this endeavour, the developed countries must set an example and make significant efforts to lead the way.
The International maintains that the principle of common responsibility for our future, with an approach adapted to countries’ respective capabilities, must guide the future international protocol.
The SI will pay special attention to ensure that the new Copenhagen accord is ambitious and realistic, but also grounded on a more social base than was the Kyoto Protocol.
The SI supports the incorporation into the text currently under negotiation for Copenhagen, of a paragraph that underlines the importance of ensuring a socially just transition for the workers of the whole world, from a society with a great consumption of fossil energy and with emissions of CO2, to a society with low emissions, in support of and with particular regard to the workers who face the consequences of climate change.
This transition towards meeting the needs of all on an equal basis depends, among other things, on the establishment of programmes of education and re-qualification for students and workers and of Research and Development in areas of new eco-efficient technologies. It is also necessary to make public investments which contribute to sustainable development, as well as to guarantee access for all to energy and a rational use of this precious resource in all sectors. In the context of the current crisis, this approach will also permit the encouragement of economic activity within the context of an alliance between employment and environment.
The SI is committed to supporting these actions of solidarity which are key elements for the future international Protocol on climate change also demanded by the International Trade Union Confederation.
The Socialist International also warns of the deadly consequences derived from the exploitation of natural resources when private interests prevail over ecological and social considerations, as is currently the case in a cement factory in the national park of Los Haitises and its environment in Dominican Republic, which is also protected under a UN Resolution, where not only biodiversity is dangerously affected but also where immense drinking water reserves are contained, in moments when humanity feels the threat of the most severe crisis of availability of water for life in the planet.
The International underlines that support from countries of the North to those of the South must be organised in order to finance the measures necessary for their adaptation to climate change, also ensuring technology transfers and help to put in place national strategies for low carbon development in the developing countries.
The Socialist International calls for the establishment of a sustainable pact, bringing together all the actors of society. It is necessary to reconcile in a balanced way the economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects of development. This would be consistent with socialist tradition and would put into place the concept of sustainable development first initiated by Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Vice-President of the Socialist International and Prime Minister of Norway, of the Norwegian Labour Party.
Over the last two years, the Socialist International has been working intensively with key actors in the international community, through its Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which will present its report at the United Nations in September this year, advancing common positions and developing a progressive approach for urgent action on this critical issue.
Now is the moment to make, in the interest of all, the transition towards a world which is more just, more equitable and more respectful of the environment, without creating new inequalities from essential environmental concerns.