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Taking action to climate-proof our work #CPOW

People from around the world are participating in today’s international day of action to “climate-proof our work”. Together with their unions, workers from over 1,000 workplaces from dozens of countries are getting involved in the first event of its kind.

“Workers recognise the existential threat that is before us and the need for action. We are challenging business models and providing the momentum to align them with the transition effort. Amid the growing anxiety, we are reaching out to businesses to build together a net-zero future from the ground up,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Climate scientists have given the world until 2030 to stablise the planet with a maximum 1.5 degree temperature rise. More than 83 million climate refugees are now on record as fleeing from disaster or loss of livelihoods.

“Workers and employers want a sense of security, and climate change is a driver of a more uncertain future for us and our families,” read the initial letters sent to employers. People were encouraged to ask their bosses three questions: Do you measure CO2 emissions? Will we have net-zero emissions by 2050, or have a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030? What will we do to get there?

“Getting all hands on deck to face off the climate crisis requires a just transition. That means planning, with short-, medium- and long-term objectives as well as a robust monitoring framework. It means consultation, with workers having the right to know about how and when the transition will take place at their workplace level. It means training, so that people build on their skills and are equipped to contribute to a sustainable world of work,” explained Burrow.

While feedback from the ongoing action continues to come in, initial indications suggest that employers have been receptive to meeting on the issue. Dialogue is the first step for unions, who are committed to achieving sustainable jobs on a living planet. A number of global mobilisations will take place around the UN Climate Summit on Monday 23 September, starting with a global student strike on Friday 20 September and culminating with a global day of action on Friday 27 September.

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The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) represents 207 million members of 331 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.

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