Tokyo: Labour ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations met with international trade union and business groups to discuss the reduction of workplace emissions of “greenhouse” gases blamed for global warming.
The talks, in Niigata on Japan’s north coast, are aimed at boosting support for global environmental initiatives before Japan hosts the G-8 summit in July.
The labour ministers, whose formal talks start today, are also expected to address concerns about growing income disparity, aging and uncertainty over financial markets, Japan’s Health and Welfare Ministry said.
Participants at yesterday’s session - including representatives from the International Labour Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - issued a statement urging G-8 nations to promote sustainable labour markets and environmental protection at work places.
“The G-8 countries should foster a societal approach moving all industry sectors in more environmentally friendly and energy efficient directions,” it said.
Japan hopes to lead the discussions with its experience from “Cool-Biz” - a no-tie, no-jacket summer campaign it launched in 2005 to curb greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the use of office air conditioning, Kyodo News agency reported.
Many countries, including Japan, are struggling to meet targets set by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which requires that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by an average of 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.