INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION (ITUC)
Trade Union Commitment to Strong Outcomes at UN Climate Change Conference
Poznań, 11 December 2008: As Ministers arrive in Poznań for the final negotiations of the two-week annual global
conference on climate change, trade unions are stepping up their efforts to get just transition, green jobs, trade union
consultation and assistance for developing countries included in a strong and ambitious final document ôo be adopted by
the UN body dealing with climate change, the UNFCCC.
"The trade union movement calls on governments to take immediate action on climate change," stated ITUC General
Secretary Guy Ryder. "We have a unique and historic opportunity to transform our societies for the better. This is all
the more important at this time of economic crisis, when a Green New Deal can provide the basis for a recovery that both
provides decent work and contributes to the fight against climate change. We call on industrialised countries to lead
the way on implementing green jobs measures domestically and on the emissions reductions recommended by the IPCC, at the
same time as providing the necessary financial and technological support so that developing nations can engage fully in
In the closing sessions of the technical committees at the UNFCCC meeting on 10 December, Roger Toussaint of the AFL-CIO
spoke on behalf of all ITUC members when he stated "More than ever before, many members of our unions, my own included,
are from countries that over the years failed to create decent employment opportunities. Adaptation programmes can
create jobs, raise income levels, put food on the table, send children to school and help build stable communities. We
urge you to ensure that the new treaty contains the sufficient financial resources to meet the adaptation challenges
facing workers all over the world, in particular the global South."
Sophie Dupressoir from the European Trade Union Confederation emphasised that "European unions do not want to see a
weakening of the EU's climate package. However, we believe that the climate package would be much more acceptable
socially if it had been matched with a green jobs and just transition package."
And Zahoor Awan from the Pakistan Workers' Federation (PWF) called for a "social driver" to be integrated into the
negotiations for a far-reaching climate agreement to be agreed next year. "The trade union movement considers that this
discussion must ensure the inclusion of social provisions in the next agreement under the principle of a just transition
in order to ensure broad social consensus when implementing these climate policies,", Awan stated.
"The UN must place workers and workplaces at the core of its strategy to tackle climate change," concluded Ryder.
"Unions are calling for innovative multilateral solutions without which the main victims of climate change will be the
workers, in particular in developing countries."
If you want to know more about the trade union position on the Green economy, read the full Trade
The Trade Union delegation at COP14 is composed of more than 100 delegates from 40 countries.
To read the speech of Roger Toussaint, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 of New York City:
To read the speech of Sophie Dupressoir from the ETUC:
To read the speech of Zahoor Awan: