Global green deal must include just transition

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date: 10 December 2009

embargo: For immediate release

As the Government's Just Transition Forum meets for the first time today (Thursday), TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O'Grady is calling on ministers to ensure the livelihoods of UK workers are not endangered in the shift to a low carbon economy.

Commenting on the meeting and on her visit to the Copenhagen summit next week, Frances O'Grady said: 'The creation of a low carbon economy presents UK industry and its workforce with huge challenges and opportunities.

'Not only will thousands of new jobs be created by companies developing and producing electric vehicles, carbon capture and storage technology, and wind and tidal energy turbines, there will also be huge opportunities for UK firms to become world leaders in the new low carbon technologies.

'But it's important that as the leaders of the world meet in Copenhagen to signal what we all hope will be the start of a new era, with all governments part of a new global drive to cut damaging emissions, that any shift in the world economy doesn't come at the expense of workers and their livelihoods.

'Any new global green deal must have the principle of just transition at its heart, and leaked documents from Copenhagen this week suggest protecting the livelihoods of employees affected by the shift to a low carbon economy is not uppermost in UN negotiators' minds. The Government must ensure that any agreement reached in Copenhagen has just transition at its core.'


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