Environmental and climate issues

Climate issues are the biggest challenge that the nations of the world are facing. The time to avoid global warming of above 1.5°C is running out, and the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the sequestration of carbon must thus be placed at the top of the government’s task list. Effects of warming are already becoming evident around the world; here in Iceland, they can mainly be noticed by melting glaciers, changes in weather, increased precipitation, landslides, rising sea levels, acidification of the oceans and far-reaching effects on the ecosystem. Emissions per resident in Iceland are among the highest in the world. BSRB supports the government’s climate goals but demands that increased emphasis be placed on the measures because global warming poses a risk to the safety and quality of life of humanity. Economic effects of warming are tremendous and much greater than the costs of measures aimed at reducing emissions and increasing carbon sequestration.

BSRB demands that just transition be the guiding force in the measures to combat climate change and the adaptation to these inevitable changes. The aim of just transition is that investments generate green jobs and that lower income groups do not take on a proportionately heavier load and thus have the opportunity to take active part in the transition. Green jobs are the jobs that promote the achievement of the government’s climate goals, the jobs that protect or redeem the environment, reduce waste and develop infrastructure for energy transition. BSRB is of the opinion that it is necessary that the members of the employment sector launch a platform for co-operation on just transition so that rights and employment terms of wage earners are ensured, no less than for the economic sector. Members must reach an agreement as to the ways to achieve set goals.

BSRB seeks to be a climate and environmentally friendly federation, both in word and deed, and encourages its member associations to follow the Green Steps in their operations and to encourage the employers in the public sector which the associations negotiate with to implement Green Steps, if they have not already done so. BSRB also focuses on climate and environmental education to the members in their member associations.

BSRB requires that employers ensure that employee working conditions are healthy and that the employers facilitate their employees to use environmentally friendly means of transport to and from work and during working hours, e.g. by offering public transport subsidies and access to ecological vehicles to employees. BSRB supports the utilisation and protection of the land being in harmony and to the benefit of today’s society and future generations.

BSRB demands that the country’s natural resources be kept as public ownership and that access to clean water for all be ensured. Food security must be ensured. The use of natural resources must be sustainable, and broad social accord must be attained on their use. BSRB emphasises that any kind of operation taking place in data centres must be reviewed, as energy performance must be in accordance with the government’s policy on just transition.

BSRB will direct its focus points to the government, employers and, last but not least, the member associations by promoting co-operation and effective training.

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