Students are striking now for the jobs of tomorrow

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The International Trade Union Confederation is proud to stand behind students striking for a livable planet earth. Young people are taking the demand for urgent action on climate to political leaders around the world, proving that the power of democratic voice is alive and well.

Climate change unchecked is the crisis that threatens everyone and will leave whole regions uninhabitable. We are already witnessing extreme weather events with destruction and lasting devastation for too many of our people.

Hothouse earth is now our lived experience with heat records, rapidly melting ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic, polar cold episodes, frequent forest fires and floods, toxic oceans and rivers and biodiversity loss. Millions of climate refugees are now on record as fleeing from disaster or loss of livelihoods. The social and economic cost are evident.

The reality is we have eleven years to stabilize the planet at a 1.5-degree temperature rise and our governments are not taking responsibility for the high ambition that is vital. Every government must raise their ambition and determine national development plans inclusive of Just Transition measures to protect workers, their families and their communities. Every employer must have a plan for climate proofing their industries and workplaces and Just Transition measures must be at the heart of such plans.

Just Transition is the pathway to high ambition.

Taking inspiration from our young people, union representatives in workplaces will in the last week of June invite employers to sit down with workers to discuss plans to reduce emissions and climate-proof our work.

We will mobilise towards the UN Climate Summit in September and the COP in Chile in December with key demands of our governments.

Unions must be engaged in dialogue at all levels to ensure that the Just Transitions measures agreed are adequate to build people’s trust in a process that the overwhelming majority understand is urgent.

Without Just Transition, the critical ambition we all seek will be blocked by fear and in too many cases fear that Is fueled by the corporate greed of global CEOs still putting profit first.

In 2020 governments will again make commitments to ambition for reducing emissions against the Paris Climate Agreement. This makes 2019 a critical year for demanding action from our politicians and from our employers.

The courage of the world’s students is inspirational. Let’s follow their lead. There are no jobs on a dead planet — the only alternative is to build good jobs on a living planet.

Written by

General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. Representing the world's working people.

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