National Secretary-treasurer Charles Fleury at the UN Climate Change Conference In Paris in December 2015CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December. CUPE, the Canadian Labour Congress and other affiliated unions participated in a meeting organized by the International Trade Union Confederation.

Fleury argued for world governments, including Canada, to adopt ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets for 2020 that meet scientists’ recommendations. “We can no longer rely on states acting in good faith: the final accord must include a mandatory review process for all countries,” said Fleury.

“However, the fight against climate change cannot be waged at the expense of workers, communities or developing countries. The final accord should involve a just transition to a carbon-free economy, including financial incentives for the poorest countries,” he said.

The fight against climate change also presents an excellent opportunity for the creation of new green jobs.

“Public services are a main source of green jobs,” said Fleury. “A growing public sector and public infrastructure will help us reduce the effects of climate change. Private companies have created the problem; governments and the public sector need to be part of the solution.” 

CUPE is a signatory of the Leap Manifesto advocating that environmental protection, economic development, and a fairer society go hand in hand.

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