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Bond PhD Student gives the United Nations food for thought on Climate Change

Bond University student, Peter Glynn, has taken his PhD research to the global arena; addressing the United Nations’ International Labour Conference in Geneva in May and attending the historic Rio +20 Earth Summit.

Mr Glynn’s research, undertaken within Bond University’s Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture, looks at the impacts of climate change policy on employment and the workplace.

“As economies worldwide move to a low carbon model, there will be significant impacts on workers as businesses evolve and new businesses emerge and workers are required to embrace new technologies and adapt to different work situations,” said Mr Glynn.

“My PhD research focuses on how workplaces make the necessary transition, with a particular emphasis on the role played by employers’ organisations, trade unions and civil society in the development of appropriate policies.”

Building on a successful career in Australia, working in the area of association management, labour relations and labour market planning, Mr Glynn relocated to Geneva in 2007 to undertake projects for the UN International Labour Organisation and the International Organisation of Employers.

“I was asked to investigate whether climate change should be a policy priority for employers’ organisations – a question which subsequently inspired my PhD research,” he said.

Despite living in Europe, Mr Glynn chose to enrol in Bond’s PhD program due to the university’s well-established credentials in the field and Bond’s flexibility in meeting the requirements of the international workplace.

“I wanted to gather data from case studies in the UK, France, Germany and other areas of the European Union because of their well established and longstanding framework of regulated and voluntary climate change initiatives,” he said.

Mr Glynn’s research had brought him into contact with the civil society organisation ATD Fourth World on whose behalf he addressed the plenary session of the UN International Labour Conference (ILC) in May. ATD Fourth World is a non-profit, non-government organisation working with individuals and institutions to find solutions to eradicate extreme poverty.

“ATD Fourth World’s particular interest at the ILC was the debate about the provision by UN member governments of basic social protections such as access to social services, healthcare, education and minimum incomes for all.

“The proposal was adopted and is now a formal instrument of the ILO. It has also been called up in the Declaration from the Rio +20 Conference and will be discussed at the UN General Assembly this month.

“Essentially, governments need to ensure they adapt to the requirements of the new green economy and the employment generated is decent work as defined by the four tenets of creating good jobs, guaranteeing the respect of workers and recognition of their rights, extending social protection and promoting social dialogue.”

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