Trade union leaders call for ambitious climate deal and climate justice for workers

Today national trade union leaders from all over Europe showed their support for an ambitious climate deal at the UN Climate Change Conference and called for the deal to include a ‘Just Transition’ for workers. 

For photos of today’s climate action see https://www.flickr.com/photos/etuc-ces/sets/72157658916317060

For video of the climate action see https://youtu.be/VndM8pyFSso

At the Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation in Paris, the leaders took part in a photo action with a giant sign reading ‘Our jobs depend on our planet’ and ‘Climat et emploi, même combat’ (climate and jobs, same struggle). 

Tomorrow the leaders will vote on a Manifesto (link) which says “The ETUC calls on world governments to agree a binding, international climate protection agreement in Paris in 2015” and “Europe should work for a just transition towards a sustainable green economy, creating quality jobs and driving investment towards low-carbon technologies and infrastructures.”

There is also an amendment which, if adopted, would add 

“Financial support for regions and sectors which depend on carbon-intensive activities will be essential to implementing a just transition in Europe. The impact of the energy transition on these regions and sectors should be better assessed and taken into account. The ETUC demands that measures be taken to secure the future of those workers who will be affected.”

A more detailed policy document, the ‘ETUC Action Programme 2015-19’ (link), already adopted by ETUC Congress, calls for “a legally binding international agreement covering all major economies and ensuring that global warming will be kept under 2°C, while taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities”.

Mary Robinson, founder of the Climate Justice foundation, is in Paris today to speak to ETUC Congress and meet trade union leaders. 

“Trade unions are making a clear statement on behalf of workers on the world’s gravest environmental and economic threat” said Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the ETUC. “Meeting in the same city just weeks before the UN Climate Conference, trade unionists are today sending a message to world leaders that we expect them to reach a binding and ambitious climate deal.” 

Trade union leaders who took part in the climate photo action included Bernadette Ségol (ETUC), Ignacio Toxo and Julio Salazar (Spain), Laurent Berger, Françoise Geng and Jean-Claude Mailly (France), Jorma Malinen (Finland), Eva Nordmark, Göran Arrius and Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson (Sweden), Plamen Dimitrov and Dimitar Manolov (Bulgaria), Erich Foglar (Austria), Adrian Wütrich (Switzerland), Josef Stredula (Czech Republic), Duzan Semolic (Slovenia), Jozef Kollár (Slovakia), Carlos Silva (Portugual), Catelene Passchier (Netherlands), Jan-Willem Goudriaan (EPSU), Martin Joffren (EuroCadres), George Dassis (EESC)

For more on the ETUC’s demands for COP 21 see https://www.etuc.org/documents/etuc-key-demands-climate-cop21#.VcMk_PmqpHw 

For more on ‘Just Transition’ see 

https://www.etuc.org/speeches/j%C3%B3zef-niemiecwhat-just-transition-and-why-do-we-all-need-get-behind-it#.VcMlQ_mqpHw 

01.10.2015
Press release