Unions at the Global Climate Action Summit – making the case for a Just Transition.

Unions leaders and representatives from Australia, Canada, Norway, South Africa, the USA, are advocating for national and city ambition on climate action and Just Transition at this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in California.

The Summit brings together political leaders of cities, state and provinces, trade unions, companies, investors and civil society organisations, on 13-14 September in San Francisco, California.

Worker representatives include ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow putting forward Just Transition measures, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, calling for protection of displaced workers, and Stephen Cotton, General Secretary International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) joining with the C40 group of cities in driving clean energy mass transit in the interests of jobs and climate along with the Just Transition Centre.

Burrow said, “Working people and their families are on the frontlines of the devastation of climate change. Yet as we head towards the UN Climate Conference (COP 24) in Poland in December too many countries are failing to meet emission reduction targets and too many are still in denial. Lack of ambition and lack of action is the fuel for our own destruction.

Commitments to Just Transition measures for workers and communities affected by the shift away from fossil fuels are essential. Just as measures which will see investment in low carbon infrastructure, manufacturing and services will both ensure jobs and sustainability in cities or rural areas. Just Transition can be the driver of ambition.”

Stephen Cotton said: “I’m here at GCAS to make the case for massively expanding public transport now, to fulfil the ambition of fossil-fuel-free city streets by 2030. If this transition is done properly is will mean good jobs, reduced inequality and healthier cities for all. The time to act is now, and the 20 million transport workers we represent are ready to play their part. If we act now and act together, dangerous climate change can be averted.”