RENGO Statements and Views

Statement on United States of America’s Withdrawal from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change “Paris Agreement”

05 June 2017
 Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO)
Naoto OHMI, General Secretary
  1. On June 1, President Trump of the United States of America withdrew from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement, expressing his intention to renegotiate “a new framework” that would be “advantageous for America’s workers.” The United States is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses (GHGs). The U.S. withdrawal from the agreement will make it difficult to achieve the common long-term global goal and is likely to have an especially serious impact on funding for U.N. global warming countermeasures.
    JTUC-RENGO is extremely disappointed that, despite the U.S. playing a leading role in obtaining international accord for the Paris Agreement, the new president has decided to declare such a policy, and is gravely concerned that it may obstruct the momentum of proactive efforts that all 195 signatory countries are in the process of promoting for the agreement.
  2. The Paris Agreement, was adopted as a new framework for global warming countermeasures from 2020 onwards by COP21 (Paris) in 2015, and took force in 2016 with the signatures of 195 countries, including Japan. With the participation of all signatory countries, the Paris Agreement upholds the common goal of suppressing the globe’s average temperature rise to “less than 2ºC” since the time of the Industrial Revolution and aims to bring GHG emissions to a “net zero” in the latter half of this century. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. pledged to reduce GHG emissions 26 to 28% by 2025 compared with 2005, and under the mechanism of the Paris Agreement no downward adjustment of that mitigation target is possible.
  3. There is concern that the withdrawal from the agreement by the U.S. will bring about an unfair bias in trading conditions with other countries that will bear the costs of global warming countermeasures. JTUC-RENGO hopes that, including in the field of global warming countermeasures, the U.S. will refrain from descending into the small-minded attitude of prioritizing benefits for one’s own country and will continue to play a leading role in global warming countermeasures as a country that aspires to the development of the entire globe under the system of fair and just free competition that has been in place thus far.
  4. Based on the solidarity within the international labor movement centering on ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), JTUC-RENGO has, as well as demanding the adoption of “a global warming countermeasure framework for all participating signatory countries that has fair and just legal binding power,” made efforts toward the realization of a “just transition” that minimizes impacts on employment due to global warming countermeasures.
    JTUC-RENGO, with a view to encouraging the U.S. President to undergo a change of heart, will request the strengthening of coordination between the government, labor and employers within Japan while making vigorous appeals to international opinion on this matter in firm solidarity with trade union organizations of all signatory countries.