Trade Unions Push Priorities for Achieving a Strong and Fair Climate Deal at Copenhagen Summit

With only three months left to achieve a deal to fight climate change at the Copenhagen climate summit, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has launched a new website on climate change and sets its key policy demands, aimed at ensuring that an ambitious climate change outcome will be strengthened with a call for undertaking “Just Transition” policies.

Brussels, 9 September 2009: With only three months left to achieve a deal to fight climate change at the Copenhagen climate summit, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has launched a new website on climate change and sets its key policy demands, aimed at ensuring that an ambitious climate change outcome will be strengthened with a call for undertaking “Just Transition” policies.

“The ITUC and its members believe that addressing global climate change is critical to the economic, social and environmental interest of all peoples of the world, and that mitigation actions must be fairly shared and distributed between and within countries”, said Guy Ryder, the general secretary of the ITUC. “The International community needs now to realize that a just transition towards a low-carbon economy is possible, and can make climate action a driver for sustainable economic growth and social progress. We need to transform the economy; we therefore call for a fair process aimed at transforming every economic sector into a sustainable one,” he said.

The international trade union movement will step up its lobbying efforts aimed at achieving an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen and maintaining mentions to “Just Transition” in the current 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. * negotiating text, and also call on governments to add specific references to the need for consultation with trade unions and other stakeholders, promoting skills development, social protection and economic diversification policies, sustainable industrial policies, among others. Other important demands regard the need for developed countries to take the lead in emission reductions to keep the global temperature rise below 2°C and for them to provide sufficient funding to help developing countries adapt.

A new section on climate change has been developed on the ITUC website to support trade unions in their efforts to press for the shift towards a more sustainable society and a “green economy” that sustains decent jobs and livelihoods for all.

“An ambitious response to climate change needs the broadest possible support. It is time now to build a strong consensus around climate policies, and this will only be possible if fairness and social justice are mainstreamed right throughout the decision-making process, including in international agreements,” concluded Ryder.

The ITUC policy demands can be found here http://climate.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/COP15-TUdemands2.pdf

*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. – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


The ITUC represents 170 million workers in 157 countries and has 312 national affiliates. http://www.youtube.com/ITUCCSI

For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on:
+32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018.

Photo: Climate Change Media Partner Ship