Guest blog for the “Caribbean Voices for Climate Justice” series by Sandra Massiah, Sub-regional Secretary for the Caribbean at Public Services International (PSI)
November 5, 2021
Every day, whether it is during or outside of the hurricane season, people who live and work in SIDS know only too well that climate change is a reality and that it affects everything that they do. Workers especially feel first-hand the impact of increasingly intense hurricanes, floods, longer periods of drought, and intense heat. Public services workers are on the frontlines responding to the impact of the climate crisis. And perhaps better than anyone, they know that there is a very high price to pay for inaction.
Frontline responders to climate and other disasters know that the world has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better manage climate risks. They know that working collectively in their trade unions, their demands for system change are what constitute the true answer to tackle the climate crisis. This system change can only happen through government-led action and investment.
For the vast majority of countries, and especially in the case of developing countries, without strong and progressive interventions from the public services sector (locally, nationally and regionally) much of the agenda set by the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce emissions or Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on Climate Action will not be possible. Effective implementation of the SDGs requires a well-resourced public service sector.