Cecilia Richard, 33, harvests millet in Captain, a village in southern Malawi that has been hard hit by drought in recent years, leading to chronic food insecurity, especially during the "hunger season," when farmers are waiting for the harvest. ACT Alliance has worked with farmers in this village to switch to alternative, drought-resistant crops, such as millet, as well as using irrigation and other improved techniques to increase agricultural yields. Photo: Paul Jeffrey
Much more focus is needed to tackle climate change and specifically workplace heat as people from emerging economies daily face the challenges of dealing with the impact of climate change at work, international humanitarian and development network ACT Alliance has said.
Speaking as the 105th session of the International Labour Conference gets underway today in Geneva, ACT Alliance said that the Paris climate change agreement adopted last year and signed by a majority of governments sets a new momentum requiring governments to take more ambitious and urgent action to address climate change because of its devastating impacts on people’s lives.
ACT Alliance, an international faith-based network of 140 members working in over 100 countries and embedded in the communities they serve, has long been advocating for climate justice and more ambitious action by governments and other stakeholders at all levels.
The alliance contributed to a report released last month jointly with the Climate Vulnerable Forum, UNDP, ILO, IOM, the International Organization of Employers (IOE), UNI Global Union and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), titled “Climate Change and Labour: Impacts of Heat in the Workplace”, which found that by the mid-1990s heavily exposed countries had lost an estimated 1-3 percent of the entirety of available daylight work hours due to heat extremes – a trend which the report said is set to increase due to future climate change.
The report states: “Even if the current commitments of the world governments to combat climate change are realized, losses by the end of this century to most vulnerable economies of all available daylight work hours will double or triple.”
ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna said: “We are pleased to see the commitment of so many world leaders to combatting the impacts of climate change, and we hope that the ambition shown in the 2015 Paris agreement will be even further strengthened as it is implemented in countries across the world.”
“As an alliance we work with communities that are daily facing the impacts of climate change,” Nduna continued. “In Central America alone, for example, the drought is one of the most severe in the region’s history with more than 2 million people in need of immediate food assistance, health care, nutritional support and recovery of livelihoods, reaching levels of humanitarian crisis and highlighting the extreme vulnerability of subsistence farmers, labourers and low-income families to the impacts of climate change.”
ACT Alliance members are on the ground working with communities to combat the many impacts of climate change, and has released an appeal to respond to the food crisis in Central America caused by the El Niño drought, which can be found here: http://bit.ly/24wqjMM
Notes to the editor:
- “Climate Change and Labour: Impacts of Heat in the Workplace” made with the 43-nation Climate Vulnerable Forum, ACT Alliance, International Labour Organization (ILO) headquarters in Geneva, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Organization of Employers (IOE), UNI Global Union, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). The report can be fund here: http://actalliance.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/05/Climate-and-Labour-Issue-Paper_28-April-2016_v1_lowres.pdf
- For more information contact Estelle Marais, Head of Communications at Estelle.email@example.com tel: +41 79 358 3171 or visit www.actalliance.org