From the TUC

Copenhagen: Mini-breakthrough – Your help needed now!

15 Dec 2009, by in Environment


Lobby Ed Miliband by email and Twitter petition to back a key text at COP15

Good news from our colleague Philip in Copenhagen. The hard work unions have been putting into lobbying prior to and at this climate conference look like they may be paying off. Stay with me for this as it gets a little wonk-ish, but it’s worth it, and we need your help to lobby Ed Miliband over it now!

Unions in the UK and around the world have been lobbying hard to include a concept called “Just Transition” in the negotiating texts, committing the conference to a fairer outcome for vulnerable people. Today, 15 December 2009, Ministers meeting in Copenhagen will have the chance to seal this fairness into the conference outcome. But it is still hanging in the balance.

Just Transition is a set of ideas that recognise if we’re going to deal with the effects of climate change, we need to make a massive shift to a more sustainable economy. When we’ve made big economic shifts in the past (as with the UK’s de-industrialisation in the 1980s), they’ve not been planned properly, and the brunt of the negative effects (unemployment, disinvestment) has been borne by the most vulnerable sections and communities in society – reinforcing their vulnerability for a generation.

This time round we can choose to plan it properly. Making a Just Transition to the sustainable economy means long term plans for investing in green technology, but also in re-skilling people for the new jobs, and consulting properly about changes at all levels. We can assure that the costs of change are borne fairly across society and across the world.

It also makes practical as well as moral sense. We need to do this quickly – more quickly than such a shift has ever been accomplished before. And this means we need the active buy in of all of society – we need to help bring everyone along with us. Leaving people out of the change is just not an option.

What’s happened today?

There’s been a bit of a breakthrough today, in that (deep breath…) the UN Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Co-operative Action (AWG-LCA) has arrived at a draft text for its final outcome in Copenhagen. The new preamble to the negotiating text firmly includes the concept of Just Transition.

Got that? Well, it means that there’s finally a text on the table at Copenhagen which includes a key measure towards a fairer outcome for the conference. There’s a chance for ministers to cement this promising sign into the final agreement by uplifting it into the Ministerial Agreement being discussed tonight.

So what do we want you to do?

Please help us to let Ed Miliband’s team in Copenhagen know we care about the final deal including the fairness that only a proper framework like Just Transition will bring. Ask Ed to lobby hard for Just Transition in the Ministerial Agreement.

Here’s an email I’ve just written to Ed Miliband and his DECC team at [email protected] – It would really help to get some more emails along the same lines hitting DECC’s inbox now. Let’s let Ed know that “Just Transition” may be a byzantine buzzword dreamed up by a committee of wonks, but goddammit it’s our byzantine buzzword, and we all really want to see a system for planned fairness written down in black and white in the texts coming out of this conference.

Dear Mr Miliband,

I’ve just heard that the UN Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Co-operative Action (AWG-LCA) has arrived at a draft text for its final outcome in Copenhagen. The new preamble to the text includes a vitally important section on the concept of a Just Transition.

Unions have been active in the UK and around the world, lobbying in favour of the Just Transition framework. We need to make the huge shift to a sustainable economy, and we need to do it more quickly than we have ever made such a major social and economic change before. If it’s going to happen in time, we need the buy-in of the whole of society, which means thorough planning and support to ensure the burden of change doesn’t fall on the most marginalised and vulnerable.

Please do all that you and DECC colleagues in Copenhagen can to ensure this crucial provision is retained in the final Copenhagen text, and to uplift it into the Ministerial agreement being discussed tonight.

Yours sincerely,
John Wood

Your action points:

  • Please write now to Ed Miliband at [email protected] – Ask him to fight our corner to help the Just Transition wording in the preamble to today’s AWG-LCA draft text get uplifted into tonight’s Ministerial Agreement.
  • If you’re on Twitter, please sign our petition to Ed. He’s great at Twitter, so this might be a good way to get his attention at very short notice.

4 Responses to Copenhagen: Mini-breakthrough – Your help needed now!

  1. Tweets that mention Copenhagen: Mini-breakthrough – Your help needed now! | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC —
    Dec 15th 2009, 3:12 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ToUChstone blog, Nigel Stanley. Nigel Stanley said: RT @touchstoneblog: Twitter petition to Ed Miliband and email him in support of a key fairness provision in #COP15 texts. […]

  2. Copenhagen – your help wanted « Connected Research
    Dec 15th 2009, 3:36 pm

    […] You can find a draft e-mail to Miliband – and further information about what a just transition means, as well as the significance of the mini-breakthrough, at ToUChstone here. […]

  3. Copenhagen Diary #10: Sunny weather | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Dec 15th 2009, 4:08 pm

    […] Please act now! Sign a quick Twitter petition to Ed Miliband to ask for his help with this, or drop him an email. […]

  4. Copenhagen Diary #12: Brown takes the stage | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Dec 17th 2009, 4:41 pm

    […] that there is a desire to safeguard this text (thanks very much to everyone who took the time to press the UK government over this […]