Trade unions deliver demands for Paris Climate Agreement to French Foreign Minister/COP21 President

Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Minister and incoming President of the UN climate talks COP21, addressed the Trade Union Climate Summit 80 days before the start of the climate talks in Paris.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Trade Union Climate Summit of 250 trade union leaders from Ghana to Brazil, Canada to the Philippines and climate experts, Foreign Minister Fabius heard union demands for a climate agreement which delivers and commits to just transition and ambition on climate change.

“Unions have been disappointed to see that workers and their families have been left out of the draft climate agreement and have called on the French Presidency to ensure just transition language is reinstated,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, the International Trade Union Confederation.

“Industrial transformation is critical to achieve a zero-carbon future. We know it can’t happen without dialogue with workers in the workplace and in national plans for our economies and industries. We accept our responsibility ; we know there are no jobs on a dead planet,” said Sharan Burrow.

The Trade Union Climate Summit endorsed three topline demands for the Paris Agreement calling on governments to :

  • put back the language of just transition that has been stripped from the draft agreement ;
  • raise ambition before 2020 and invest in the potential of jobs and climate action and commit to a binding review of effort ;
  • support the most vulnerable with the promised financial commitments.

“The Paris Agreement must set the world on track for zero carbon and zero poverty if we are to see a hopeful future for workers and their communities.

“Without a commitment to the just transition measures that must underpin the massive industrial transformation that is already happening, workers and their families will pay the price,” said Sharan Burrow.

Unions have committed to mobilise workers to take part in global climate rallies on 28th and 29th November, which will send a message to world leaders arriving in Paris that climate change is happening now and that people expect an agreement which reduces emissions and puts us on a pathway to limit global temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius or under.


Read the Trade Union demands for the Paris Climate Talks (French) (Spanish) (English)