G8 labour ministers discuss climate change, social issues in Japan

May 11th, 2008 - 5:49 pm ICT by admin  

Niigata (Japan), May 11 (DPA) The labour ministers of eight of the world’s most powerful economies gathered in the central Japanese city of Niigata Sunday for a three-day summit on labour issues. The talks were expected to focus on problems such as social difference, and the social consequences of globalisation as well as ecological challenges and climate change.

The summit was being attended by ministers from the nations participating in the main Group of Eight (G8) summit (the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Russia and Japan) at Hokkaido Toyako in northern Japan in July.

The summit’s results are expected to contribute to the discussions at the main summit attended by the G8 leaders, which is to focus primarily on environment and climate change.

The Niigata summit is the first G8 labour summit to include climate issues. According to the Japanese hosts, it is hoped that the labour ministers will assist in achieving consensus on climate change at July’s main summit.

The Japanese government is expected to provide feedback on its own measures implemented in business to help reduce energy consumption by limiting the use of office air conditioning.

The so-called Cool Biz campaign, which began in 2005, advised workers to dress in short-sleeved shirts without jackets and ties and use fabrics that breathe and absorb moisture.

In addition to the labour ministers of the G8 countries, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunity, a representative from the International Labour Organisation and the Secretary General of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were attending the meeting.

Indonesia and Thailand were also invited.

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