Climate Change

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Climate change resulting from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions poses the greatest threat to our existence on this planet. To contain that threat, the world needs to cut emissions by about half by 2050 and to start reducing emissions now. We support strong actions at home, believing that green jobs can help secure our climate change objectives. Following advice from the Committee on Climate Change the UK is committed to halving its CO2 emissions by 2025.

But concerted international action is essential to achieve global cuts in CO2 emissions. We work with trade unions globally through the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)  to secure a “fair, ambitious and binding” UN agreement on climate change. Like many other organisations, we were hugely disappointed by the outcome of the Copenhagen Accord, in December 2009. Through the global trade union movement, we will be represented in Durban this December at the UN negotiations as governments meet again to try to agree a deal on global emissions reductions, and the Green Climate Fund.

The TUC argues that a new global climate agreement must be based on four principles:

  • the historic responsibilities of developed nations for past greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore greater obligations to make cuts
  • “common but differentiated responsibilities”, with the developed world taking the lead in cutting emissions, leaving room for the developing world to grow
  • future sustainability – obliging all nations to ensure that future generations are not placed in jeopardy
  • “procedural fairness” – a Just Transition to a low carbon future, perceived as fair by workers and their communities, involving consultation and investment in green jobs and skills

Commenting on the announcement today (Thursday) that the government will sell the publicly-owned Green Investment Bank (GIB) to the Macquarie Group, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The sale is a missed opportunity for Britain to create the green economy we need, and to catch up with our competitors on...
20 April 2017
The TUC is today (Friday) publishing a new report outlining how the UK can undergo a clean energy transition to create high-quality jobs and secure a major share of the future clean energy industry, which is estimated to be worth $500bn globally.
22 July 2016
Commenting on the government’s announcement today (Wednesday) of cuts to support for rooftop solar energy – on the same day as the Met Office says 2016 will be the hottest on record – TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It beggars belief that the government is cutting support for a...
17 December 2015
Congress 2015 agreed to support the national Peoples' March for Climate, Justice and Jobs on Sunday 29 November in London. The demonstration marks the opening of the UN’s climate change treaty negotiations in Paris. Events are being organised in towns and cities across the UK that weekend. The national demonstration...
20 October 2015
The government must stop cutting renewable energy funding and get behind the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy, a new report has said today (Monday).
18 October 2015
Damaging low carbon investment: the TUC's submission to the Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry, Promoting sustainable development (August 2015), said that the government has announced 11 Treasury-led green policy reversals that drew widespread criticism from industry - motor manufacture, construction, energy project developers, the renewable energy sector, energy efficiency installers -...
22 September 2015
The mythical “march of the makers”: In his 2011 Budget speech, George Osborne said he wanted “a Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers.” However, a new TUC analysis shows that manufacturing’s proportion of GDP has flatlined at 10.1% of GDP for the past six years. Our foundation...
18 March 2015
7 March 2015 Commenting on the Time to Act on Climate Change march taking place today (Saturday) in London, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “2015 is a crunch year for the UN’s climate change negotiations and every government must play its part to make the new climate treaty a...
07 March 2015
The government is saddling businesses with higher than necessary energy bills through its failing energy efficiency strategy for the commercial sector, a new TUC report argues today (Friday). Efforts by government to boost commercial energy efficiency are not working, and end up costing UK businesses millions of pounds every year,...
13 February 2015
An ambitious roll-out of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology in Scotland would generate a large number of jobs and create a market worth £15-35bn by 2030, says the TUC and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA).
27 January 2015