Global unions call for green jobs

Trade unions want both an effective UN climate pact and preservation of jobs in a shift to a green economy, a leader of a global labour group has said.

More jobs could be created than are lost if governments are serious about promoting a switch from fossil fuels to a low-carbon economy, said Guy Ryder, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

The Brussels-based ITUC, which represents 168 million workers in 155 countries, wants the new UN pact due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December to ensure a “just transition” for workers to a greener economy.

Ryder said many UN studies showed that a low-carbon future could be achieved by “policies that would increase the quantity and quality of employment.”

He added: “There is going to have to be massive social protection and investment in adjustment” when making a global shift from fossil fuels towards industries such as wind or solar power.

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