The ITF, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and allies are out in force at global climate talks to amplify workers’ demands to be at the heart of moves towards climate justice.
They are participating in the UN intergovernmental negotiations on climate change – COP23 – in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November.
In its statement for COP23, the ITF argues that to address the climate crisis, an immediate and ambitious expansion of public transport globally is necessary. This will bring environmental, social and economic benefits, creating a better life for all by improving access to mobility, reducing congestion and air pollution in cities and creating millions of new decent jobs. In several cities, ITF affiliates presented the statement to their local and/or national government.
The ITF also issued a joint statement with the UITP (the International Association of Public Transport). This makes the case that citizens, cities and the planet will be better off with more public transport, and argues that tackling climate action with public transport is one of the largest economic opportunities of the 21st century.
A poster with this message, by the ITF and UITP, together with ITF union ver.di and UITP partner VDV, was seen by thousands of delegates in Bonn’s electric buses and tram stops.
Sari Sairanen from ITF union UNIFOR in Canada called for workers to be at the centre of the shift to a low emissions world. She said: “Workers are feeling vulnerable, they’re worried about their jobs, so we run a course called ‘green jobs and climate change’. It’s all about a just transition for workers, it shows them how to influence these changes in their workplace. And it’s written into agreements that employers pay for their workers to attend.”
Alana Dave, leader of the ITF’s Our Public Transport programme, added that the voice of workers on industrial change needs to be strengthened, and that the federation and its unions had built alliances with other groups who will stand with workers to campaign for climate and social justice.
Engage in the debate and see what trade unions at COP23 are saying:
Follow the latest news on the ITF’s public transport campaign using #OurPublicTransport
Read the statement on gender, climate change and public transport adopted by the ITF women’s conference.