All gas and no gains?

As the global climate change circus departed its latest stopping point, the global union federation ITUC said failure in this year’s negotiations should not be an option.

 Speaking as government representatives left Barcelona’s final preparatory negotiation before the December Copenhagen climate change conference, ITUC stressed the need for an ambitious, fair and legally-binding agreement.

“Leaders of the world meeting in Copenhagen must not accept failure as an option,” said Guy Ryder, ITUC general secretary. “Success will be measured by the legal status of its outcome, emissions reductions and financial commitments from developed countries established as a basis for future negotiations, as well as the actions to be taken by developing countries to achieve low-carbon development. A just and fair result will be a critical benchmark for success.”

Ryder reiterated the union call for commitments on lessening social injustice as well as pollution.

“We welcome the renewed support of several governments to the concept of Just Transition, which is present in the negotiating text,” he said. “The labour movement at all levels will maintain its pressure to ensure that the Copenhagen outcome is fair for the planet and fair for working people.

“We call on the governments of the world to assume their responsibilities, ignore short-sighted positions and turn the political momentum gained around climate change into obtaining an ambitious and just outcome in Copenhagen,” Ryder added.

Unions are calling for a climate change deal that creates new jobs in green industries, makes existing industries greener and protects workers whose jobs could be lost in the transition process.

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