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Unions set out climate change agenda for COP21

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ITF 17092015Around 250 participants, including representatives from the ITF and its affiliates, gathered in Paris for the ITUC’s (International Trade Union Confederation) trade union climate summit to discuss their demands for COP21 and explore issues such as industrial transformation, just transition and building a strong climate movement.

The ITUC presented its three key demands for COP21, while Asbjørn Wahl, chair of both the ITF’s urban transport committee and climate change working group, and Cecile Sadoux of the UITP (the public transport employers’ organisation) presented a joint ITF/UITP statement on climate leadership and public transport.

The statement declares that ‘now is the time to leverage the transformational power of sustainable transport’ and includes ambitious goals, promotes the reduce-shift-improve model, and calls for subsidies to be eliminated from the fossil fuel industry.

Asbjørn Wahl said: “The transport sector is one of the absolute biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions – already responsible for 23 percent of all emissions. If business as usual is allowed to continue, this will increase to 30 percent by the year 2030 and 75 percent by the year 2050 – with most of it coming from private vehicles. This has to change…and public transport has a key role to play. Even more than that, a massive expansion of public transport is quite simply unavoidable if we are to stay within the 2oC limit.

“We also realise that climate change policies have to be seen in a broader perspective. Expanding public transport infrastructure and use also have to meet wider goals, like the creation of millions of new, decent jobs, direct and indirect.”

Read the full speech. 

Unions’ upcoming climate action plans include marches on 28 and 29 November, official COP21 negotiations, the ITUC’s trade union forum on 3-4 December, the alternative climate summit on 5-6 December, and the public action on 12 December.

Find out how to take part in the ITF’s climate action day on 5 October

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