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Ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow the ETUC stressed that massive investments are needed to green our infrastructures and economies, but warns that this will be impossible if decision makers will opt for a return to austerity. Just Transition has to be a cornerstone of any climate policies to mitigate the social and employment issues related to the green transition. “It is still to be seen if the EU Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package can concretely deliver on the challenge.” said Ludovic Voet, ETUC Confederal Secretary.

IndustriAll Europe has launched a European campaign for a Just Transition for industrial workers with a coordinated, European-wide mobilisation from 25 October - 10 November 2021. Beyond the two-week action, a series of sectoral round table discussions are organised at regional level with joint actions with IndustriAll Global in connection with COP26. IndustriAll stresses that reaching climate neutrality by 2050 requires steep emission cuts, that given the length of investment cycles mean that the technology choices for 2050 at sectoral level will be have to be made before 2030. The union warns that social disruption due to a badly managed transition might severely undermine the ability of the European Green Deal to succeed and will do long-term damage to our economies and societies. It warns Europe’s politicians that they have a direct responsibility for delivering a Just Transition framework for the affected workers and regions. For IndustriAll, the main elements for such a framework are the following.

Proper financial resources are needed to support job-to-job transitions, for re-training and upskilling programmes. The current size of the Just Transition Fund falls short of the challenge.

Mapping of employment consequences is necessary to ensure tailored job-to-job transitions. The analysis must be conducted by public authorities in coordination with social partners.

Anticipation of change with co-determination of workers is necessary with the strengthening social dialogue and collective bargaining.

A toolbox of rights is needed to ensure that transitions are smooth and fair for individual workers with dedicated active labour market policies to address the urgency for education and training.

EPSU calls for climate action referring to the warnings of latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change to avoid tipping points such as the thawing of the permafrost or the slowing and possible disappearance of the Gulf Stream. The union calls for climate justice and criticizes “the mindless over-consumption of the wealthy”. Citing the Oxfam report, Confronting carbon inequality, that the richest 10 percent of the world’s population are responsible for 52 percent of cumulative carbon emissions, EPSU speaks out for stopping over-consumption and urges more tax justice and redistribution. It mobilised for the climate rally on the 10th October 2021 #BackToTheClimate march in Brussels ahead of the COP26 demanding #ClimateAction and #justtransition together with students, the youth, trade unions and NGOs.