E tū: Summit kickstarts Just Transition debate
8 May 2019
E tū is looking forward to attending the Just Transition Summit in New Plymouth which begins tomorrow.
The union has a team of eight regional delegates as well as senior officials and executive members attending the Summit, which follows months of work by the Taranaki community on a draft roadmap for the transition of the oil and gas region from a high-emissions to a low-emissions (net zero) economy.
E tū Senior Industrial Officer, Paul Tolich says the Summit will kick-start debate on this transformation, not just in Taranaki, but also nationwide.
“We welcome the initiative of the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern in convening this Summit,” says Paul.
“This is the beginning of the roadmap for the Taranaki region which will also serve as a pilot for the rest of the country.
“Oil and gas have provided a prosperous living for many people in Taranaki, and it is the source of many jobs for our members. But the region will face huge changes in the years ahead as industries reduce emissions.
“This is the start of a national response to the economic, social, cultural and environmental challenges we face over the coming decades, as we manage climate change,” he says.
Paul describes this as the biggest challenge to the nation since the radical restructuring of the 1980s and 90s.
“There was no plan then to deal with the fallout for working people and their communities, many of which were decimated by the changes,” says Paul.
“What happened then is at the root of much of the inequality we face today, and we are not prepared to have that happen again,” he says.
“We need an economic development plan, so the change is managed to preserve quality, well paid jobs and healthy new industries. It is of the greatest importance that we work to ensure this transition is a success over the years and decades to come.”