Les jeunes défilent pour la grève du climatOn September 18, CUPE’s National Executive Board adopted a resolution supporting the Global Week of Climate Action. CUPE encourages its members to participate in the youth-led Global Week of Climate Action. Actions will be taking place in communities across the country, in collaboration with youth, environmental and other groups. Check the website for local events being organized across Canada.

Many labour organizations are supporting the Global Week of Action, including the Canadian Labour Congress, the International Trade Union Confederation, and Public Services International.

In recent years, students have mounted an increasing number of demonstrations worldwide to urge governments to take action. The week of September 20 to 27 has been selected to hold demonstrations to coincide with the United Nations climate summit, on September 23. Greta Thunberg, the Swedish student who is an inspiration of the movement, will bring her message to Canada, and attend the march in Montreal on September 27.

Demonstrators are demanding urgent and effective action to achieve the goal of emissions reduction to avoid exceeding the threshold of 1.5o C global temperature rise by 2030. More effective actions need to be taken to decrease GHG emissions. Just Transition plans also need to be put into effect, to mitigate the impacts on workers and communities. Most of the emission reduction plans that have been developed to date do not include the analysis needed for Just Transition.

The Global Week of Action marks a crucial moment, both in terms of public attention and of policy decisions. Unions know that the only way to achieve a successful and lasting global transition to environmental sustainability is to build a broad consensus and ensure that working people are part of the solution. Unions have been reaching out to policy-makers with Just Transition proposals. While we have made progress, we know there is much more work to do.

CUPE’s Environment policy is available here.