RENGO Statements and Views

Statement on the adoption of the “Paris Agreement” at COP21/CMP11

14 December 2015
Naoto Ohmi, General Secretary
Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO)
  1. The “Paris Agreement” was adopted at the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 11th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11) on 12 December 2015. The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC- RENGO) welcomes the adoption of the agreement since the accord was reached on a framework requiring all the parties, including the United States and China, to take steps to reduce GHG emissions—the first of its kind—even though the parties have been sharply divided over their long-term goals in reducing emissions and the issue of financial assistance to developed countries, and the negotiations have been difficult.
  2. The parties agreed (1) to reconfirm the goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius; (2) to set the goal of increasing contributions by developed countries to at least 100 billion dollars (floor) by 2025 (non-binding goal); (3) to provide financial resources by developed country Parties to assist developing country, and providing support voluntarily by other Parties; (4) to take stock of the implementation of this Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals every five years; (5) to communicate or update emission reduction target every five years; and (6) to limit the amount of GHG emitted to the same levels that forests, soil and oceans can absorb naturally in the latter half of this century.
  3. Under the Trade Union Statement by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), JTUC-RENGO has called for the promotion of countermeasures to global warming while implementing appropriate measures to prevent the transition into a green economy from adversely affecting the employment situation (a “Just Transition”). At the site of COP21, JTUC-RENGO requested Japanese Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa and other government officials of Japan to incorporate a clause on “Just Transition” in terms of employment in the agreement, and to play an active role in creating a new framework. Although a clause on “Just Transition” was not incorporated into the agreement, JTUC-RENGO appreciates the preamble’s call for consideration of a “Just Transition” and “Decent Work” as a certain achievement. The governments of the parties to the convention should confirm the substantive contents of the agreed-upon framework and press forward with international negotiations aimed at implementing sustainable and effective countermeasures against global warming.
  4. The next round, COP22, is scheduled to be held in Morocco in November 2016. To put into practice the philosophy described in the preamble of the Agreement, various issues relating to the prevention of global warming, including the realization of “Just Transition” and how ESG investments should be made, should be specifically considered also at venues other than COPs. JTUC-RENGO will continue to urge the Japanese government to steadily implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including those through the joint crediting mechanism, while minimizing such efforts’ impact on domestic industries and employment, and thereby fulfil Japan’s international duties. At the same time, JTUC-RENGO is determined to proactively carry out social movements to prevent global warming, such as “RENGO Ecolife 21”.