ITUC OnLine – November 17, 2009

Climate Change:  Realism Must Also Mean Ambition

Brussels, 17 November 2009 (ITUC OnLine):  With governments downplaying prospects for December’s UN climate summit and the chances of a binding agreement receding fast, the international trade union movement has called on governments to go to Copenhagen ready to make decisions that will put the world on an unequivocal path to a low-carbon future.

“The science shows clearly that the longer we wait, the higher the human, environmental and economic costs will be.  We need governments to make ambitious commitments which will set in stone the core elements of a treaty that must be completed as a matter of urgency.  This means legally-binding targets on emissions and longer-term financing to assist developing countries to adapt, as well as “just transition” strategies to deal with the social and employment dimensions,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder.

The ITUC statement to the Summit, released today, sets out the international trade union movement’s position in detail, emphasising the need for creation of green and decent jobs, through investment in new low-carbon production and services and measures to reduce the carbon footprints of existing industries.  The ITUC platform was developed through an exhaustive 18-month process of negotiation involving trade unions from every part of the world, and reflects the concerns and proposals of working people from developing and industrialised countries.

“The world simply cannot afford further delays in action to avoid catastrophic climate change. Political leadership is critically important at this juncture, and unless momentum is regained, the world will pay a heavy price,” said Ryder.

See the ITUC Statement to the Copenhagen COP15 Summit and other information about trade unions and climate change .

The ITUC represents 170 million workers in 158 countries and territories and has 316 national affiliates.

ITUC Website and ITUC YouTube For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on:  +32 2 224 0204 or + 32 476 62 10 18.