Paris climate agreement marks historical milestone: the trade union movement will take further action for a just transition

Saturday 12 December 2015

The COP21 French Presidency has lead an unprecedented diplomatic effort to bring all countries on board towards the adoption of a universal climate agreement.  This moment of international solidarity has triggered global cooperation between governments, union leaders, cities, companies, and campaigners in a collective effort to save the planet and humanity from climate change. The world now has a shared vision and leaders want to be on the right side of history. We have seen significant shifts in public opinion as well as political and business decisions. Governments and investors around the world now understand that fossil fuels are no longer a safe option for the global economy and look towards a future powered by renewables.

But Paris is a starting point. More action will be needed at the national level to speed up concrete climate action.

For Philip Jennings, Secretary General of UNI Global Union, “after this new global climate deal, unions will advance progress in the millions of workplaces around the world through all the negotiating platforms we have from local to national and global levels. We will make it happen. This is our human right to a safe planet”.

For Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, “the Paris deal recognizes the reality of the climate threat but only takes us part of the way. Climate change is already destroying lives and livelihoods with more than 2.6 million people displaced from extreme weather events. But the Paris agreement has started the race towards climate stabilization. Paris is a first step on which we need to build on. The global trade union movement is more resolved than ever to act. We will include the just transition debate into the social dialogue with governments and employers.”

“We are now entering a new phase. Attention is turning to scaling up the just transition and making sure we leave no one behind by ensuring new decent jobs are created for all. That means rolling out credible plans to decarbonise economies and protect the poorest from the devastating impacts of climate change”, concluded Philip Jennings.

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