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Climate action must include a just transition for workers, says Unilever CEO & Intl. Trade Union Confederation Secretary-General

Author: Sharan Burrow, Intl. Trade Union Confederation & Paul Polman, Unilever, on EurActiv, Published on: 3 December 2015

"A changing climate for jobs", 2 Dec 2015

With the start of the COP21 climate change summit in Paris, we have the opportunity to create a new model where we can both tackle climate change and create jobs. There are some who still believe that the two are in conflict. Our experience, however, suggests that inaction on climate change is the real job killer. A structural transition to a green economy will create – not lose – jobs and is a necessity for our environment. If we act now, we can make sure that the transition is a just one, respecting the rights of workers and creating opportunities for communities moving away from fossil-fuel intensive industries...It’s important to respect the workers in the fossil fuel industry who have brought us the prosperity of today, and help them to secure professional opportunities in a low-carbon economy...What does a just transition look like? It should encourage all companies to plan ahead for decarbonisation, ensure that workers have the opportunities and skills required to take on new jobs, enable employees to plan for the future, and invest in community renewal...Workers play an important role in determining our future but often have little choice - it is in all our interests to make sure that they have a seat at the table and a say in their future...

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Related companies: Unilever