COP28: Trade unions call for a labour-inclusive Just Transition 

ITUC demands that a comprehensive Just Transition Work Programme, with labour issues at its core, is agreed at the climate negotiations

30 Nov 2023| News

Beginning on the 30th November until the 12th December, the COP28 will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The key ITUC priority for working people at the conference, available here, is the adoption of a Just Transition Work Programme that ensures labour issues are central to climate policy discussions by:

  •  Upholding human and labour rights while fostering inclusive participation in climate policy formulation.
  •  Enhancing mitigation ambitions to create quality jobs, backed by just transition measures.
  •  Delivering on adaptation needs through robust social protection plans and funding mechanisms.
  •  Providing the finance for the Loss and Damage facility and for investment in just transition.

ITUC General Secretary Luc Triangle emphasised the urgency of the situation:

“This year’s extreme weather events have caused widespread disruption, impacting workers globally. It is imperative that COP28 delivers on its promises. We need climate policies that put people and labour rights at the forefront to ensure a transition that is both equitable and effective.

It is global economic failures that have amplified the disproportionate effects of climate change on working people, including extreme working conditions, threats to livelihoods and forced migration due to environmental disruption.

That is why we demand a New Social Contract to create a fairer global economy, that focuses on the interests of working people to begin to tackle fundamental inequalities.”

The Institute of Employment Rights have recently been collborating with the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)’s Centre for Climate Crime and Climate Justice in organising a conference on ‘green bargaining’ strategies that brought together trade union organisers, academics and campaigners in late October in London. Tou can find a report of the conference here.

In conjunction with the conference and the CCCCJ, the IER also produced a comprehensive report, written by Ben Crawford and David Whyte, and available for free download here. Please also read their blog, ‘Why we need workers and their unions to lead the climate debate‘.