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Environment and Climate Change

Document | 31 August 2009

A Sustainable Development Approach


Environmental challenges have to be addressed through a sustainable development approach, including also economic development and social justice. Issues such as poverty and population growth, over-exploitation of resources and excessive consumption, degradation of land, air and water, urbanization and industrialization, diversity of species, basic human and trade union rights and needs, good quality employment in safe working conditions, social security, freedom from discrimination, education, etc. have to be addressed in a way to ensure a more sustainable pattern of development.

ACTRAV’s work on environmental issues - including climate change and “green jobs” - highlights four elements as important for the ILO:

  • Its Decent Work Agenda (DWA)
  • Its tripartite structure and the issue of governance
  • Its focus on “Just Transition”
  • Its technical cooperation activities in relation to capacity building

ACTRAV promotes Decent Work Country Programmes (DWCPs) based on a balanced articulation of the ILO’s four strategic objectives and tripartite participation at country level also in relation to climate change issues and “green jobs”.

Capacity Building


ACTRAV is involved in capacity building on the issue of environment and climate change in training courses especially for representatives of trade union organizations, but also in courses which include the participation of representatives of employers’ organizations and governments.

Recent activities include:

Building on Experiences


During the 1990s ACTRAV implemented the project “Trade Unions and Environmentally Sustainable Development”. Much change has taken place since then. Environmentally sustainable development as a trade union issue has been widely recognized and accepted and today trade unions all over the world are also engaged nationally, regionally and globally in the climate change debate.

In order to provide information on earlier experiences and input to the historical development of trade union involvement in these issues, ACTRAV has also decided to provide a few links to publications developed under the above mentioned project.

The Project did also publish a case study booklet called: Trade Union Actions to Promote Environmentally Sustainable Development It describes different cases developed in Asia and Africa, and shows how environmentally sustainable development issues were integrated into trade union work.

Unit responsible: Bureau for Workers' Activities

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