ITUC meets UN climate change chair: Dateline – Bangkok, 30 September 2009
At a meeting in Bangkok with Michael Zammit Cutajar, the Chair of the UN climate negotiations now in session, ITUC representatives expressed satisfaction at seeing the call for a “Just Transition” in the current UN negotiating text. The Just Transition clause is one of the key demands for labour internationally in the drive to a low carbon future.
Mr Zammit Cutajar encouraged the trade union delegation to work further with their governmental delegations in order to promote a sustainable and socially-fair agreed outcome in Copenhagen.
Great news, then, that the UK’s Environment Secretary, Ed Miliband, acknowledged the strategic value of Just Transition in his speech to the TUC’s annual Congress last week (16 September 2009):
“And I want to congratulate the trade unions on the work you have done this year, forging an alliance over jobs, justice and climate at the G20 summit in London and coming together with the trades unions of the north and south for a just transition for workers across the globe. This will be integral to our transition to a low carbon economy here in the UK, our discussions with the EU and our arguments at the global climate change talks in Copenhagen.”
The Bangkok delegation, led by the ITUC’s Anabella Rosemberg, updated the UN Chair on other union demands now being delivered to government negotiators:
- the need to recognise the role of social protection in the shift to a low carbon economy;
- the vulnerability of workers outside the formal labour market; and
- the importance of public investment to support “frontline” states as they adapt to climate change.
For the ITUC, promoting sustainable industrial policies, dialogue with social partners and skills development policies are fundamental to the success of a Just Transition strategy, and must remain within the UN climate change agreement. All of us in the ITUC Working Group on climate change are workign daily to promote the Just Transition clause with our Governments wherever possible.