Keywords : Climate Change And Environment Declarations

We, the trade unions of Africa, organised within the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), have in the last year followed the scientific evidence critically relating to the climate crisis;

We have observed the mounting evidence of the looming climate emergency, which the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report highlights;

In PDF - African_TU_demands_COP26

Even more disturbing is the fact that the looming emergencies threaten Africa the most even though Africa has contributed the least to the climate crisis;

Mindful of the devastating socio-economic havoc in Africa wreaked by the COVID 19 pandemic and recognizing the urgency for faster recovery that addresses inequalities and other injustices;

Confident that the Paris Agreement provides a valuable framework that enables all parties and stakeholders in every jurisdiction to work together to combat climate change and avert the looming crisis;

African Trade Unions Unequivocally demand:

Raise the ambition and back it with concrete action at all levels: We demand that all parties be more ambitious in terms of levels of Green House Gas emission reductions and the time frame. We are relentless in supporting efforts to limit global warming increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, mindful that this would entail drastic measures to chalk considerable progress by 2030 in line with SDG 13. Furthermore, we demand that the wealthy industrialised countries historically responsible for most of the cumulative accumulation of the GHG must live up to their promises transparently so that we can realise net-zero by 2050.

Binding Mitigation commitments:

We support the binding obligations of all countries to contribute to emissions reduction and the institution of measures within the framework of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). At the same time, we are applauding the efforts of African countries in this respect and expect them to demonstrate greater ambition every five years to achieve a balance between man-made emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHGs in the second half of the century. Furthermore, we call on rich industrialised
countries to address legitimate conditionality for implementing all measures within African countries’ NDCs.

Just Transition:
The trade unions in Africa are aware that realising net-zero carbon societies is a daunting historical imperative. The climate crisis is already directly unleashing harsher implications for working people and vulnerable communities in Africa. It will therefore be unjust if measures combating global warming do not consciously address inequities and injustices. Societies can best realise a decarbonised economy if the pathway to the transition is just! Working women and men and other vulnerable categories in society should not bear more than their fair share of the burdens on the path to net-zero. We demand a Just Transition to the low greenhouse gas emission economies and resilient climate societies in Africa. The quest for a just transition is founded on respecting Africa’s right to development, a right to industrialise. It is even more necessary given the quest to reduce glaring inequities and inequalities that the pandemic has exposed.

The implementation rules being negotiated at COP 26 must seek to respond appropriately to this demand.

Climate Finance for mitigation and adaptation
Climate finance has become more pressing an issue given the fiscal constraints that African countries have experienced due to the pandemic and the looming climate crisis. The developed countries promise of a hundred billion dollars a year from 2010 – 2020 is far from being redeemed. This, undoubtedly, is grave as it informed the negotiations in Paris and is necessary if developing countries are to respond in keeping with promises. Not only is climate finance essential for the direct mitigation obligations within the NDCs; it is also necessary for pressing adaptation measures to reduce the havoc to livelihoods, employment and infrastructure that African communities have experienced. The losses and damages are already with us, and climate finance is necessary for immediate action.

Loss and Damage
Losses and damages resulting from climate change have taken various forms over the years, only for them to become more frequent and intense in the last decade, particularly on the African continent. Therefore, we demand a serious response to this concern. In that connection, we expect COP 26 to look at the relevant Warsaw mechanisms as this will demonstrate commitment to a just pursuit of a carbon-free economy. Indeed, having clear means for addressing losses and damages is also necessary to arrest the disintegration of agricultural and rural livelihood systems. Besides, the pressing need to preserve and regenerate natural resources will boost clear compensation mechanisms for losses and damages arising from the climate crisis.

Multi-stakeholder partnerships
The magnitude of climate change calls for concerted, collaborative efforts among all counties and all stakeholders within each country. Serious efforts should finalise the Paris Rulebook to provide the rules we need to implement the Paris Agreement and give due credence to intensive collaboration between all governments, businesses, trade unions and civil society. Multi-stakeholder partnerships will thrive if COP 26 is guided by Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, which categorically provides for education, awareness-raising, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, and create the conditions for enhanced social dialogue.

Signed: Kwasi Adu-Amankwah
International Trade Union Confederation- Africa
29th October, 2021

Documents & Media Related


Download Files


Play Audio Files


Click to zoom and browse



This guidance note presents the COS framework; it reviews the concrete steps that can be used (...)


TUDEP is a learning tool meant to support trade unions worldwide in the application of the (...)


The pamphlet aims to introduce trade unionists to the 2030 Agenda and its overlap with the (...)