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Unions 4 Climate Action

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We can avoid climate related poverty, disease, unemployment and death.

Climate action means an alternative economic model, grounded on people’s needs, on solidarity, on economic democracy and on a fair distribution of wealth, whereby all citizens can see their human rights fulfilled, whilst ensuring the preservation of our planet for future generations.

The historical 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.

We come from nations and communities around the globe; we are in millions of workplaces and we commit to organise, to mobilise, to fight for climate justice.

We will work with all movements willing to join us from environmental, women, indigenous, youth, ethnic and religious communities for the planet we all belong to.

We demand a profound transformation of all economic sectors and industries, the greening of current jobs and the investment to generate millions of new green jobs – decent jobs.

We demand investments in clean and renewable energies, the development of public transport and sustainable transit, the efficient renovation of building stocks, the promotion of ecological agriculture, fisheries and forestry models, for re-using and recycling waste and promoting life-cycle approaches to production.

We demand a Just Transition towards a model which allows us to create a carbon-free economy. We propose international, regional, national and local dialogue to ensure Just Transitions:  sustainable investment in jobs with training and education, re-employment policies, social protection and economic justice.

We demand the leadership for an ambitious and legally binding agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to prevent irreversible changes to the climate system.

We must decarbonise our world consistent with the science, for workers of today and for our children.

We, the UK Trades Union Congress, representing 5.9 million workers in 54 affiliated trade unions, make the following national commitments:

  • To campaign for a national goal of a virtually carbon-free UK power sector by 2030. Our energy CO2 target for 2030 is between 50grammes and 100 grammes of carbon emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity generated from all energy sources – renewables, fossil fuels with carbon capture & storage and new nuclear.
  • To support a balanced investment in all forms of low carbon energy, whilst supporting the “precautionary principle” approach to the fracking method of shale gas extraction.
  • To campaign for the creation of a million green jobs in the UK.
  • To campaign for a sustainable future for our energy intensive industries (such as steel, chemicals, cement and ceramics) in our low carbon economy, with a national goal to develop and grow the world's most energy efficient industries in the UK.
  • To call for the reform and eventual phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.
  • To call on the UK government to stick to its £3.87 billion contribution towards fast-start international climate finance between 2011 and 2016.
  • To support union-led "greening the workplace" campaigns for workplace energy efficiency across the public, private and voluntary sectors, back by new rights for green reps and trade union environmental education programmes.
  • To call on the UK government to adopt a new 2030 EU target to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40%, as a further milestone towards the EU’s 2050 Low carbon Economy Roadmap.
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