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25 May 2014

Climate change remains high on trade union agenda

With the recent publication of three of the four reports of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the climate issue has resurfaced on the global policymakers' agenda. The preparations for the Paris Climate Summit end of 2015 will ensure climate change will once more be one of the central topics for global governance in the next two years.

In this context, more than 50 unions representing millions of workers joined the Unions4Climate action at the ITUC World Congress in Berlin. This trade union initiative signals the start of a global mobilisation for a climate deal in Paris in 2015.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC demanded industrial transformation with the funding for a just transition for vulnerable nations and communities. “We watched governments fail the planet and their people in Copenhagen and the same corporate interests want to see failure in Paris. The mission of the trade union movement to ensure jobs, rights and social equality requires that we embrace the cause of a just transition towards sustainable development – a transition that must start now,” said Sharan Burrow.

This massive mobilisation coincides with the launch of a synthesis of the main messages in the AR5 reports related to employment and jobs published jointly by the ETUI and the European Climate Foundation. The summary report will be launched at a ETUI Monthly Forum on 27 May which should provide a platform for debate on the social aspects of European and global climate change policies.

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