At the intersection of rising temperatures, disasters and workers' rights: INSP!R Asia tackles Climate Justice

Group picture of the INSP!R Asia members planting trees
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This is the first and only time of these five years, we are gathering the INSP!R Asia members, over 50 participants from six countries. They all see climate change affecting their members and communities. Dr Kadir from GK and steering committee member for Bangladesh: “Our country is currently living a dengue pandemic because mosquitos are affected by changing temperatures.” Ajay from Nepal sees the snow melting on the Himalayas, affecting not only tourism but also the vital resource of water for the entire South Asian region. “Our members are not climate NGOs, but same as everybody is impacted by climate change, and marginalised people the most, everybody has to play a role to correct wrongs and hold accountable the real global emitters, the governments from the north and Big Oil.” confirms Samy, member for India. Three main themes of the debates: understanding climate justice, just transition and adaptive social protection.

The first, climate justice part highlights global issues being debated like loss and damages.

While the labour movement managed to put Just Transition high on the political agenda for countries, now it needs to be applied in practice during collective bargaining agreements.
Stijn Sintubin from ACV-CSCi
ILO and ITUC shared on the role of trade unions to ensure greener jobs and then per country, we discussed how civil society can contribute at national level.
Elly Rosita from Indonesia
The key role of universal, strong social protection systems to build resilience, so that shocks which are already happening, like floodings and crop failures don’t lead to more deaths and famine
Koen Detavernier, Advocacy Officer for WSM

Three days filled with data and analysis, because while some of the participants are considered experts on these issues, for others this was their first event focused solely on this theme. So a lot of sharing along each others and linking it to what is witnessed in the field, but also from outsiders: the ILO, the Asia People's Movement on Debt and Development, the ITUC but also the Beweging.net from Belgium.

 

After getting to know the issues, it was time to DO: statement games, group discussions and flip charts filled with ambitious goals, starting with a letter to each national government in the lead up to the next COP, on 24th of October, the International Day for Climate Action.

 

 

This will be the opportunity to demand phasing out of fossil fuels, ensuring loss and damages also go to adaptive social protection, that just transition is led by the workers’ affected towards greener economies. Cause one thing participants did readily agree on: if we don't act now, it is our civilisations that will be in ruins, and sooner than we think!