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ILO adopts ‘Just Transition’ ahead of COP 21

11 November, 2015With weeks to go to the COP21, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France, one of the union movements’ demands has been pushed forward.

Formally adopting the criterias for a Just Transition, the ILO governing body has defined essential steps countries should take to transform their economies to a low-carbon future, creating new jobs and supporting workers and communities in high-carbon sectors as industries are transformed.

IndustriALL director for sustainability Brian Kohler says of the breakthrough:

“This will help define Just Transition for the upcoming negotiations in Paris. Any agreement reached at the COP21 will not be the final word but only the start of a journey. A climate deal that supports sustainable industrial policies and comprehensive Just Transition programmes could become one of the greatest opportunities the labour movement has ever had.”

IndustriALL is actively promoting, both regionally and internationally, the view that the world needs a deal on greenhouse gas emissions but that such a deal must be accompanied by strong provisions to protect workers, their families, and the communities that depend on them.

This can be accomplished by adopting sustainable industrial policies, ensuring strong social protection programs, and designing and implementing specific Just Transition programmes. Many of IndustriALL’s affiliates have made strong statements to this effect to their governments, and IndustriALL will deliver this message at the COP21 in Paris in December.

The global labour movement agreed on three goals for the COP21

·      to raise ambition and ensure that concrete steps are taken to reduce emissions in line with the <2 Cº pathway
·      to ensure adequate technical and financial resources are made available to vulnerable and developing nations
·      to secure a Just Transition for workers and their communities, with all that implies in the way of industrial transformation and social protection