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Climate change tops agenda at Geneva Work summit

French President Francois Hollande (L) and General-Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guy Ryder arrive at the UN for their World of Work Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, June 11, 2015.
French President Francois Hollande (L) and General-Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Guy Ryder arrive at the UN for their World of Work Summit in Geneva, Switzerland, June 11, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
2 min

High-level officials, including France's Presidet François Hollande, travelled to Geneva on Thursday for the World of Work summit, where negotiations centred on the implications of climate change for workers, businesses and communities.

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No sooner did one conference on climate change end, than another one began.

After ten days of strenuous negotiations in Bonn, Germany, over how to get countries to reduce their carbon emissions to below 2C, Thursday's Work summit in Geneva strived to look at the implications of climate change, if that benchmark couldn't be reached.

Negotiators are confident however that all countries will be able to sign a proposed bill by October that would impose stringest gas reductions. This, before crunch climate talks in Paris in December.

However, many outstanding questions remain unresolved, such as burden-sharing: many developing countries indeed argue they should have separate rules as they were not "historically responsible" for pollution like industrialised nations.

Adapting to the effects of climate change is also another of their concern, as many developing countries lack the means of withstanding flooding, drought and other man-made disasters.

Policies to protect the environment, and economic activity which is increasingly disrupted by climate change, is thus important, and this was the leitmotiv of the World of Work summit in Geneva on Thursday.

Officials were greeted by a surprise video appearance from grammy-award winning singer Pharrel Williams. The singer, whose hit "Happy" was a global sensation last year, has urged leaders to deliver green jobs as a crucial part of tackling climate change.

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