Climate deal on the line as Governments review commitments to climate action

New ITUC Climate Justice Frontline’s briefing sets out union demands for a just transition to zero carbon economy

Photo: 350.org

Political commitments for a just transition to a low carbon economy will be on the line as governments review the draft text for a global agreement on climate by early June.
A strong global agreement due to be agreed in Paris at the end of the year requires national pledges and commitments that are ambitious. Only a strong commitment from governments will pave the way for a jobs and investment boom and prevent climate catastrophes in our communities.

A new ITUC report, Unions4Climate Action, supports a global lobby action by trade unions of governments in a week of advocacy 1 – 7 June on their national contributions and the investment shift needed to ensure the transition to a low carbon economy.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary said, “Government inaction is putting lives and livelihoods at risk and we are out of time. The science is in, we demand climate justice and we are taking our demands to parliaments around the world. Workers have a right to know what their governments will do to secure their future.”

Unions are stepping up efforts for a global deal on climate with a mass global week of action in June, as teams of unions are visible in parliaments and the community offices of elected officials to make the case for action on climate which secures a just transition for working people.

“We have a vital role to play to protect jobs in existing workplaces and industries by demanding and bargaining for industrial transformation, to organise new quality jobs in the emerging green economy and to fight for the Just Transition measures that ensure we leave no one behind.”

“Politicians who are not prepared to commit to decarbonise our world and save us from the horrors of climate change don’t deserve to be elected,” said Sharan Burrow.
Between March and October 2015 countries have agreed to make public their plans to reduce emissions and submit them to the UNFCCC UNFCCC The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit held in Rio in June 1992. The objective of this treaty is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. However, the treaty is legally non-binding. It was signed by more than 180 governments and promotes the principles of common but differentiated responsibility and precautionary action. . If current “contributions” stay as they are, the 2°C objective will become unattainable, with all the disastrous implications we know.

Trade unions have already confirmed Climate Frontlines events in Peru, Senegal, Japan, Ghana and Argentina, and more are planned.

In September the global union movement will hold a Union Climate Summit in Paris to showcase union experiences in the industrial challenge to de-carbonise our workplaces and our industries.

Union members and workers are asked to join the global movement for action on climate by:

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 02 10