Labour & the environment

Background paper • Briefing note

Agencies

Photo by Francis Vorhies

Climate change • Responses • Adaptation • Mitigation • Agencies • Cases
This page provides an overview of what more than 30 large international development agencies are doing or planning to do with respect to climate change that is of relevance to labour skills and enterprise development.

For each of the agencies, a direct link to their climate work is provided as well as a short comment on their work. The work of some these agencies is also covered in more detail in the briefing note.


Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

http://www.cbd.int/climate/default.shtml

Launched at the 1992 Rio Summit alongside the UNFCCC, the CBD has its own programme of work on climate change and biodiversity. This includes a focus on "measures to manage ecosystems so as to maintain their resilience to extreme climate events and to help mitigate and adapt to climate change."


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

http://www.fao.org/clim/

FAO's work programmes on climate change include "the promotion of practices for climate change mitigation, the adaptation of agricultural systems to climate change, [and] the reduction of emissions from the agricultural sector." This includes a strong focus on employment-related issues in the rural economies of developing countries.


Global Environment Facility (GEF)

http://www.gefweb.org/interior.aspx?id=106#id=232

Climate change is one of the main focal areas of GEF funding. Operating as the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, the GEF supports both adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries.  Annually, the GEF disperses about $250 million on climate change activities.


Global Mechanism

http://www.global-mechanism.org/about-us/strategicprogrammes/ces

The Global Mechanism has a strategic programme on Compensation for Ecosystems Services which includes a focus on carbon offsets in the context of sustainable land management. This programme is highlighted in the briefing note.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

http://www.ipcc.ch/

Established by the WMO and UNEP, the IPCC assesses "on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation."


International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-94424-201-1-DO_TOPIC.ht

In partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), IDRC is hosting a new programme on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA). This programme is highlighted in the briefing note.


International Finance Corporation (IFC)

http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/
Content/CarbonFinance

The IFC has a Carbon Finance Unit which provides products and services for the carbon market such as:

  • Carbon Delivery Guarantee
  • Debt and equity for carbon rich products and businesses
  • Monetization of future cash flows from sales of carbon credits
  • Alternative structures and vehicles for sales of
  • Assigned Amount Units
  • Special debt facilities for local banks

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

http://www.iied.org/CC/

The climate change work at IIED focuses on improving the capacities and the livelihoods of poor communities with respect to climate change.


International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

http://www.iisd.org/security/es/resilience/
climate_phase2.asp

IISD has an extensive programme on climate change which includes a focus on rural livelihoods including the design and implementation of a tool -- CRISTAL (Community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation & Livelihoods) - which assists development planners to consider climate change implications. This tool is highlighted in the briefing note.


International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

http://www.imo.org/Environment/mainframe.asp?topic_id=233#greenhouse

The IMO has a programme on the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships which address reducing the emissions of greenhouse gas emissions.


International Trade Centre (ITC)

http://www.intracen.org/mds/

The ITC's Market Development Services is currently exploring how it might support exporters from developing countries improve their performance in the carbon markets.


IUCN - The World Conservation Union

http://www.iucn.org/themes/climate/

IUCN has a Climate Change Initiative which address both adaptation and mitigation responses in the context of conservation and development. There is a particular emphasis on rural livelihoods and sustainable landscape management.


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

http://www.oecd.org/department/
0,3355,en_2649_34361_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

The OECD work on climate change comes under its Environment Directorate and its "objective is to help its member countries prepare for the future by supporting them with sound policy analysis and options to achieve climate change goals in an environmentally-effective and economically-efficient manner." For example, the OECD has recently published a brief for its members on climate change policies.


Oxfam International

http://www.oxfam.org/en/programs/campaigns
/maketradefair/climate_change

Oxfam address climate change under its Make Trade Fair campaign seeing is as a "challenge to current models of economic growth."


United Nations (UN)

http://www.un.org/climatechange/

The UN maintains a Gateway to the UN System's Work on Climate Change which provides an overview of the work of the UN and links to agencies including the following:

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • World Meteorological Organization
  • United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
  • Food and Agriculture Organization
  • Global Environment Facility
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • World Bank
  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
  • International Maritime Organization
  • International Monetary Fund
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific
  • World Tourism Organization
  • International Civil Aviation Organization
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • World Health Organization
  • World Food Programme
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization

United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)

http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sdissues/
climate_change/climate_change.htm

Climate change is one of the key issues addressed by the UN CSD. Among its work programmes are over 90 registered partnerships on climate change.


United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

http://www.unctad.org/Templates/StartPage.asp?intItemID=4342

UNCTAD's explains that its role with role with respect to climate change is "to help developing countries master the trade and development implications and take advantage of emerging trade and investment opportunities." It Climate Change Programme focuses on the CDM and on biofuels. Most recently the organisation as launched its own Carbon Neutral Initiative.


United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

http://www.unccd.int/publicinfo/factsheets
/showFS.php?number=10

Launched alongside the UNFCCC and the CBD at the 1992 Rio Summit, the UNCCD address the linkages between climate change and desertification, particularly in the context of sustainable rural development.


United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

http://www.un.org/esa/desa/climatechange/

DESA sees its major role as " assisting governments to increase capacities to design and implement national sustainable development strategies that incorporate climate change."


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

http://www.undp.org/climatechange/

Climate change is an increasingly central focus of the work of UNDP, including its role as a GEF implementing agency. Of note is the UNDP's MDG Carbon Facility which is "an innovative mechanism for the development and commercialization of emission reduction projects."


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

http://ioc3.unesco.org/unesco-climate/

UNESCO has a large number of climate change related activities which address the following topics:

  • Scientific research and assessments
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Mitigation of climate change
  • Monitoring aspects of climate change

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

http://www.unep.org/Themes/climatechange/

In addition to it's support to the IPCC, UNEP runs a number of programmes on climate change including Capacity Development for the CDM (CD4CDM) which is highlighted in the briefing note. UNEP also has a small programme on Labour which has worked with the ILO and the WHO on issues such a the trade unions' response to climate change.


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

http://unfccc.int/2860.php

The UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol provide the international basis for mandatory responses to climate change.


United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat)

http://www.unhabitat.org/categories.asp?catid=550

UN Habitat has a focus on Climate Change and Cites which calls for city-to-city partnerships between developed and developing country cities to combat climate change.


United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

http://www.unido.org/doc/71841

UNIDO's focus on sustainable industrialization means that it's role with respect to climate change focuses on "the need for large-scale technical assistance and transfer of clean energy technologies and know how." Building on its 2002 MOU with the ILO and UNEP, UNIDO can be a partner to the ILO in addressing the incorporation of labor issues into programmes of clean energy technology.


US Agency for International Development (USAID)

http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/environment/
climate/policies_prog/vulnerability.html

USAID has a new programme focused on strengthening the ability of USAID's programme to deal with climate change. This programme is highlighted in the briefing note.


World Bank

http://go.worldbank.org/W13H8ZXSD1

http://carbonfinance.org/

The World Bank has major programmes related to climate change, including a Carbon Finance Unit, which focus on both adaptation and mitigation responses in developing countries in the context of its overall objective alleviate poverty.


World Food Programme (WFP)

http://www.wfp.org/english/?ModuleID=137&Key=2542

The WFP sees itself as being "on the front line of the fight against climate change." Their website states:

"While most of us in the developed world are pondering the melting polar ice-caps and rising sea levels or wondering if we’ll ever get another white Christmas, the poorer parts of the world are already up to their knees in the muddy waters of global warming."


World Health Organization (WHO)

http://www.who.int/globalchange/en/

The WHO manages a programme on Global environmental change which includes a focus on climate change and human health. This focus has a clear link to the ILO's work on  occupational health and safety.


World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/

The WMO manages the long-running World Climate Programme (WCP) "whose goals are to improve understanding of the climate system and to apply that understanding for the benefit of societies coping with climate variability and change."


World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

http://www.unwto.org/climate/index.php

The UNWTO has a programme on Climate Change and Tourism which includes an information exchange service.


WWF

http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/
what_we_do/climate_change/index.cfm

Climate change is a major theme of the work of WWF. In support of the scientific and advocacy work, they run a Climate Witness programme which shows real experiences of the impacts of climate change as well as the impacts of responses.