"Just Transition" for an ambitious and fair climate change deal in Copenhagen

Brussels, 15 April 2009: A trade union initiative for integrating social justice within the transition to a low carbon economy has been launched by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (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. ).

"The new climate deal, which has to be agreed in Copenhagen, has to deliver a message of ambition and fairness," said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. "Our organisations are committed to supporting the achievement of ambitious emission reduction measures. Including a just transition framework in the agreement is an essential part of the successful implementation of that process."

Over the course of 2009 governments are holding negotiations for the new agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement adopted in 1997 and linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. , whose mandate ends in 2012. At the first series of talks that concluded on 8 April in Bonn, Germany, trade unions strongly emphasized the need to ensure fairness in the pathway towards a low-carbon society, through the inclusion of a "just transition framework" in the agreement.

"Trade unions are concerned by the slow pace negotiations are taking, and the multiplication of decision-making fora. We are committed to work up to, during and beyond Copenhagen to achieve effective decision making, and for the transition to a low carbon economy to be real and fair; for this to happen, we need governments to recognize the role trade unions can play in building consensus and creating the right conditions for the great transition that has to take place" said Ryder.

You can download here the general trade union position on climate change, or here the concrete proposals on the “just transition framework” presented in Bonn.

Photo: Sachmanns DK


For more information, you can contact Anabella Rosemberg anabella.rosemberg@ituc-csi.org or the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018

The ITUC represents 170 million workers in 312 affiliated national organisations from 157 countries and territories. http://www.youtube.com/ITUCCSI