Lead up to COP28 Special – What’s happening and how you can take part!
Hello UNISON Green Network!
“The era of global warming has ended and the era of global boiling has arrived.” – UN Secretary General
Fast on the heels of UNISON Green week we are now preparing for engagement with COP28 including a Global day of action on 9th December where there’s already events planned in Aberystwyth, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Portsmouth and Sheffield with room for you to create your own (see more details below).
The 28th Conference of Parties (COP) will be held from Thursday 30th November to Tuesday 12th December this year, with over 198 countries invited to take part. World leaders will make key decisions on how countries will commit to tackle the climate emergency. Once again COP is taking place in a nation notorious for fossil fuel extraction and human rights abuses making the context of negotiations tense. It will also be taking place just as our own UK government seems to be rowing back on its own national, and international, commitments to Net Zero. COP28 will bring those appalling decisions into sharp focus.
UNISON will be represented at COP again this year – this time by Tony Wright, NEC member from the Yorkshire and Humberside region and chair of the UNISON Policy Development and Campaigns committee (PDCC) as part of the International Trades Unions Congress (ITUC) observer delegation (See below for the ITUC trade union demands for a just transition to Net Zero).
Much of the work around COP28 takes place before the event begins, and in the build-up to main event, Tony will be meeting with representatives from the Labour Party, the TUC, iTUC and PSI to help put forward the strongest message from the trade union movement.
Look out for Tony’s report back in our December Newsletter.
In the meantime, we can’t all go to COP28, but we can all get involved across the UK and UNISON encourages you to do so.
JOIN: the day of action
Our friends at the Climate Justice Coalition (CJC) are calling on everyone across Britain to get organised for our Day of Action on 9 December.
While we know the COP processes won’t hold the solutions, we need to tackle the climate catastrophe, the 9 December Day of Action will be a vital moment to build the strength of our movement across Britain and the globe.
We know many local climate coalition hubs are already getting organised, with more than 15 actions already in the works across the country. Whether you’re just getting started or are in the middle of planning, there are some CJC resources to help organise your action click here for more information
There will be another newsletter ahead of COP but in the meantime, here are a few further actions you can take and promote in the lead up.
Attend: We Make Tomorrow is a one-day conference for building workers power on climate and crisis.
Organised by the Trade Union Caucus of the Climate Justice Coalition, We Make Tomorrow will bring together workers in key sectors with trade union officials, climate justice activists and scientists to explore what climate change means for us and what we should do about it. Click here for more details including how to register.
Read: Amnesty International call to COP28 linking Fossil Fuels to global human rights abuses
“COP28 is the time for states to agree to move beyond the fossil fuel era and leave behind its shameful record of climate damage and human rights abuses.”
- Candy Ofime, Amnesty International’s Legal Advisor on Climate Justice
ITUC demands for a just transition to Net Zero
The ITUC supports the ILO guidelines for the implementation of a just transition, including the policies and measures needed to create a normative framework for a just transition – inclusive of all its elements. Building on this the global labour movement is proposing the following definition of a Just Transition that could be used to guide the work at the UNFCC:
- A just transition secures the future and livelihoods of workers and their communities during the transition to a low-carbon economy effectively limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
- Just Transition plans should be co-created with workers and their trade unions to provide and guarantee decent work, social protection, training opportunities and job security for all workers affected by global warming and climate change policies.
- Plans must be underpinned by the fundamental Labour rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining and facilitated through social dialogue between workers and their unions, employers and governments as established by the ILO.
A just transition requires guarantees for intergenerational and gender equity, racial justice, respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, impacted communities and migrants and promotes and protects human rights and ILO fundamental labour rights.
Talk to us we’d love to hear from you about any green activity in your branch – just drop us a line at Policy@unison.co.uk
As ever we hope you can get involved with Green UNISON in any way you can!
If you’d like to find out more about the work that UNISON is doing to make our public services greener, you can head over to our website.