What are the trade unions in favor of?

International Trade Union Confederation

The ITUC welcomed the initiative of the Polish COP Presidency to present and adopt a Declaration on Solidarity and Just Transition at COP24 and called on all governments to adopt the Declaration.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said: “The unions want decent jobs on a living planet. If governments build confidence through guarantees of just transitional measures, they can have greater ambitions in terms of climate action. All governments must support this declaration so that no one is left behind. "

With the adoption of the COP24 declaration, the states undertake to take seriously the consequences of climate change and climate policy for employees, their families and the communities when they determine their new national climate contributions, adaptation plans and long-term strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions implement.

“This declaration means that workers and their unions will be at the table and the voice of workers will be heard when climate policy is designed and implemented. Good social dialogue practices are vital in making the changes to industries, sectors and economies needed to halt dangerous climate change and create 65 million jobs in low carbon sectors by 2030, ”said Sharan Burrow.

The Governments of Canada, New Zealand, Scotland and Spain have committed to just transition and have instituted procedures to do so:

• In Canada, the government has established a Just Transition Task Force for coal phasing workers and communities to act as an adviser.

• In New Zealand, the government is working on a just transition and economic diversification plan, using social dialogue with trade unions and consultation with other stakeholders. The plan is for regions currently dependent on offshore oil and gas production, which the New Zealand government intends to suspend by 2050.

• In Scotland, the government has set up a commission with unions and other stakeholders to explore the challenges and opportunities of moving to a low carbon economy for Scottish workers and communities.

• In Spain the government and miners' unions have agreed on a plan for a just transition on the coal phase-out. Two more plans, one focused on economic diversification and one on national issues, are to follow.

“In order to meet the challenges of climate change and save the earth a greenhouse state, all countries must pursue greater ambitions for a just transition. In order to achieve this more quickly, the principles highlighted in the COP24 declaration for a just transition for workers must be implemented and integrated into the Paris regulations, which must be adopted at the end of COP24, ”explains Sharan Burrow.

The set of rules for implementing the Paris Climate Agreement must support the countries in taking ambitious climate protection measures with a view to reducing emissions. What is needed are effective adaptation measures, more financial resources for climate protection, a credible compensation mechanism for losses and damage, and appropriate measures for a just transition for employees.

“In 2015, the unions made sure that a just transition found its way into the Paris Climate Agreement. Now is the time for COP 24 to implement this in the Paris rulebook and create decent jobs on a living planet, ”said Sharan Burrow.