Labor-Environmental Partnership to Hold Events During UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 29, 2010) As negotiations begin today on a global climate agreement in Cancun, the BlueGreen Alliance, a national, strategic partnership of nine major U.S. labor unions and four of the nation’s most influential environmental organizations, released its agenda for a strong, effective and enforceable international agreement that addresses climate change and begins a just transition to a clean energy economy that creates millions of good jobs in the United States and around the world.
“Climate change and unsustainable energy dependence are the foremost environmental issues of our time and the signature economic issues of our day,” said David Foster, executive director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “But when confronted, these two challenges offer unparalleled opportunities. Creating and preserving millions of new clean energy jobs must be a top priority for negotiators in Cancun.”
A Global Agreement to Address Climate Change and Create Good Jobs sets forth an agenda for addressing the key issues related to a global climate agreement that will ensure the transition to clean energy will benefit workers, revitalize the U.S. economy and launch a new model of global economic development. Among the issues addressed in the agenda are Adaptation to Climate Change; Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV); Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), International Technology Transfer; and Just Transition.
“Union members and environmentalists, with the shared goals of creating good jobs and improving the environment for our children and grandchildren, have a unique voice when it comes to a global climate change agreement,” continued Foster. “In order to truly realize the economic and environmental gains that such an agreement could achieve, all countries, including the United States, must commit to and act on these principles.”
The labor-environmental partnership’s agenda puts forth specific policy recommendations on each of five critical areas of a global climate agreement, and argues that such an agreement cannot succeed unless it provides solutions to those immediately impacted by global warming, ensures that countries provide transparent information on emissions and actions, mitigates the loss of the world’s tropical rainforests, assists developing countries with the technologies required to develop a low-carbon economy, and ensures a just transition for working people around the world.
“As U.S. labor unions and environmental organizations uniting 13 million people in pursuit of good jobs and a clean environment, we urge an international agreement on climate change that not only addresses our environmental and energy challenges, but that also provides a clear opportunity to revitalize the U.S. economy – and economies all around the world – with the creation of millions of good, green jobs,” continued Foster.
Throughout the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, the BlueGreen Alliance will host a labor-environmental reception on December 5, a side event at the World of Work (WoW) Pavilion on December 7, meet with the U.S. delegation and leaders in the international community, and provide updates on key issues impacting negotiations via the BlueGreen Alliance blog, Twitter and Facebook.