From the TUC

UN heeds ITUC “just transition” call

22 Jan 2009, by in Environment

A campaign by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) for the UN to take on board trade union issues in the new climate change treaty is beginning, at last, to deliver results. A new UN report from its Poznan conference (December 2008) cites many of the core trade unions calls for the new climate change treaty, due to be concluded in Copenhagen in December 2009.

The UN report brings together submissions from Governments, NGOs, business and research bodes, and the ITUC, for the building blocks for a new global treaty. It acknowledges not only the trade union movement’s support for deep cuts in CO2 by developed nations (25 to 40% by 2020), but also our calls for the treaty to provide for a “just transition” – with stakeholder consultation, investment in skills and training, green jobs programmes and support for joint union-management green workplace projects. Nice to see green workplaces in a UN document!

For developing countries, the UN records the ITUC’s call, with many other NGOs, to respect the rights and ensure effective participation by indigenous peoples and local communities. The treaty should take every opportunity to look for “co-benefits” in respect to poverty alleviation, decent job creation and rural development needs, with a key role for the Clean Development Mechanism in eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development.

And finally, major new financial flows are required from North to South to sustain the response of developing nations to the challenge of climate change – and to make sure that climate change impacts do not derail the earlier commitments to support the Millennium Development Goals.

“Public funding is critical for mobilizing the necessary resources – for mitigation, reforestation and adaptation. Further resources should be raised through a fair and redistributive tax system,” the ITUC says.

Of course, the central challenge for the ITUC in the year ahead lies in keeping these strategic demands for green jobs, union consultation and green workplaces in the minds of Governments and the UN. Next stop: G20.