Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

November 30, 2015 13:59 ET

CUPE will push for just transition and green jobs at COP21 in Paris

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 30, 2015) - CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury will lead the delegation that will represent Canada's largest union at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. CUPE's delegation will be part of 35 Canadian trade unionists coordinated by the Canadian Labour Congress and the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC).

On December 3, Fleury will be among the speakers at the "One Million Green Jobs" forum sponsored by the Canadian Labour Congress and the Climate Action Network at the Le Bourget conference centre in Paris. Several of Canada's premiers and environment ministers have confirmed their attendance at the Canadian forum.

On behalf of CUPE, Fleury will argue for world governments, including Canada, to adopt ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for 2020 that meet scientists' recommendations. According to Fleury, we can no longer rely on states acting in good faith: the final accord must include a mandatory review process for all countries.

"However, the fight against climate change cannot be waged at the expense of workers, communities or developing countries. The final accord should involve a just transition to a carbon-free economy, including financial incentives for the poorest countries," explained Fleury. For CUPE's National Secretary-Treasurer, the fight against climate change also presents an excellent opportunity for the creation of new green jobs.

"Public services are a main source of green jobs. A growing public sector and public infrastructure will help us reduce the effects of climate change. Private companies have created the problem; governments and the public sector need to be part of the solution," said Fleury.

CUPE is a signatory of the Leap Manifesto advocating that environmental protection, economic development, and a fairer society go hand in hand.

"We'll make sure that the Leap message is heard loud and clear in Paris," concluded Fleury.

CUPE is Canada's largest union, representing 634,000 workers.

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