CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury will travel to Paris in December for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). CUPE, the Canadian Labour Congress and other affiliated unions will participate in a meeting organized by the International Trade Union Confederation.
“Even if we strengthen our power as a union, we won’t be better off if our planet is destroyed,” CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury told delegates at the national convention in Vancouver.
With that harsh reality in mind, Fleury will travel to Paris in December for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). CUPE, the Canadian Labour Congress and other affiliated unions will participate in a meeting organized by the International Trade Union Confederation.
On behalf of CUPE, Fleury will argue for world governments, including Canada, to adopt ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for 2020 that meet scientists’ recommendations. According to Fleury, we can no longer rely on states acting in good faith: the final accord must include a mandatory review process for all countries.
“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,” explained Fleury.
For CUPE’s National Secretary-Treasurer, 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. 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,” said Fleury.
CUPE is a signatory of the Leap Manifesto advocating that environmental protection, economic development, and a fairer society go hand in hand.
“We’ll make sure that the Leap message is heard loud and clear in Paris,” concluded Fleury.
CUPE’s action against climate change will continue well beyond COP21, since delegates at the last national convention made protecting the planet a major priority for the union over the next two years.