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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 http://www.theccc.org.uk/ 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) http://www.ituc-csi.org/climate-change.html Â 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 â obliging all nations to ensure that future generations are not placed in jeopardy
- “procedural fairness” â 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