The pre-workshop, supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Trade Union Competence Centre for Sub-Saharan Africa (TUCC), had in attendance trade union leaders and focal persons from African countries including Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Congo Brazzaville.
Mr Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, a consultant from Ghana, began the workshop by delivering an extensive explanation on Climate Science. He further educated the participants on the causes, impacts and implications of climate change on jobs. His presentation raised questions and comments on how Africa – who contributes the least to climate change – suffers the most from the negative impacts. Some of the participants highlighted the need for political-economic relations in climate action as it relates to the trade unions and pointed out the vital need to associate green jobs with decent jobs.
The Program Officer of Climate Change and Environment, Rhoda Boateng, gave a report on ITUC-Africa’s response to climate change. She briefed the participants on the ITUC-Africa strategy document that acknowledged that it is imperative for trade unions to assert their involvement as social partners on Climate Change policy building on a quote by ITUC-Africa Secretary-General, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, in 2014 that “climate change is integral in the broader fight against existing economic and social injustices faced by workers and the poor”.
Since 2016 – 2019, progress has been achieved in research, education & sensitization, policy development as well as lobby & advocacy towards the enhancement of African trade unions contribution to addressing climate change and environmental issues. Examples are the establishment of an ITUC-Africa Climate Change Network and the increased participation of trade unions in climate change processes at the global level such as the UNFCCC Conference of Parties and UNEP meetings. A major challenge is a non-existent engagement at the level of the African Union and limited engagement of trade unions in climate change national processes such as Green Fund Initiatives etc.