FTURK and foreign national trade union centers presented research in the field of climate change

The International Conference “Trade Union Action on Climate Change” organized by the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan together with the International Labor Organization continues its work in Almaty.

During two days the conference participants considered the problems of climate change impact on the development of the labor market in the region, discussed the actions of trade unions and social partners on “fair transition” to sustainable climate change.

As the moderator of the conference, Head of the Europe and Central Asia Department of ACTRAV/ILO Sergejus Glovackas emphasized, the aim of the conference is to review experts’ research, as well as to discuss topical issues and develop joint actions on the part of trade union organizations to minimize the impact of climate change on workers and labor markets in general.

Gulnara Zhumageldieva, Deputy Chair of the FTURK, welcoming the participants, noted the special role of trade unions in the issues of ensuring the interests of workers, including in the context of climate change.

“Trade unions should play a key role in climate change conditions, promoting reforms to protect the interests of workers, development and implementation of environmental sustainability policies at work, control over compliance with environmental standards, training and information work among labor collectives on environmental safety and rational use of resources”, – Gulnara Zhumageldieva emphasized.

The study of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the topic: “Determination of the strategy of action of trade unions of Kazakhstan in the field of climate change and a just transition” was presented to the conference participants by Marat Imash, Head of the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Prevention and Resolution of Labor Disputes of the Committee on Socio-Economic Relations and Social Partnership of FTURK.

The study analyzes the impact of climate change on the labor market and measures taken by social partners, and reflects recommendations for further actions of trade unions in minimizing the negative impact of the environment on the development of social and labor relations.

“Throughout Kazakhstan, each successive decade has been warmer than the previous one, the average annual increase in air temperature is 0.34°C every ten years. The process of climate change on the territory of the country in the XXI century will only intensify, the average annual temperature will increase by 12°C by 2030 and by 23°C by 2050. By 2030, pasture carrying capacity will decrease by 10%, by 2040 water deficit will be 50% of the demand, more than 50% of the current glacial mass will be lost by 2100. Over the next decades due to global warming, water resources of major rivers in Kazakhstan may decrease by 20-40%, due to water deficit GDP may decrease by 6% by 2050. Until 2029, the river flow may decrease by 2.8% due to a decrease in inflow from neighboring countries by 9.7%, more than half of which is formed due to transboundary inflow from China, Uzbekistan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan”, – emphasized the Kazakh expert.

According to him, Kazakhstan is one of the most carbon-intensive countries in the world, with the energy sector being the main source of 82.4% of greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), Kazakhstan remains among the lowest performing countries in the 2024 ranking, although it has moved up 1 position to 60th place out of 67 positions.  In the Environmental Performance Rating, Kazakhstan is in 93rd place out of 180 countries. In the IQAir Global Air Quality Monitoring Platform Rating, Kazakhstan is among the top 50 most polluted countries and regions in the world, ranking 40th out of 134.

As recommendations for trade unions and their social partners Marat Imash noted the need to conclude agreements on joint implementation of economic, social and environmental policies. In addition, FTURK calls for the exchange of information and best practices in the implementation of environmentally oriented macroeconomic and sectoral policies, as well as to discuss and analyze the results of socio-economic and employment assessments to justify strategic decisions.

The importance of developing climate finance mechanisms focused on sustainable development needs, opportunities and approaches was also noted. According to experts, the key to ensuring basic human rights in the area of climate change and innovative development of countries should be the establishment of technological cooperation and capacity-building of experts in the field of climate change, technological solutions and environmental training.

Research on identifying strategies for trade union action on climate change and a just transition was also presented at the conference by representatives of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, who informed about the activities of trade unions in their countries on climate change.

The conference continued with the development of recommendations aimed at uniting efforts to minimize the negative impact of climate change on the labor market. All measures proposed by representatives of national trade union centers will form the basis of recommendations for social partners and international organizations.

Media Center of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan