(14 March 2019) The demand for urgent action to address climate change by #YouthForClimate is supported by a broad group of trade unionists, environmentalists, energy poverty and social action campaigners that met on the eve of the 15th march Global #Strike for the Climate.
Organised by Friends of the Earth Europe, Transform, TNI and TUED, the global Trade Unions for Energy Democracy network and hosted by EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, the group of activists met to discuss the joint work to advance the energy transition and ensure that it leads to a genuine transformation of our society that puts workers, people and the planet before profits.
TUED coordinator Sean Sweeney says: The youth are demanding action. Unions and their allies are working through some of the technical aspects of the energy transition and how it can be carried out in ways that can reduce emissions dramatically while strengthening public ownership and democratic control. It's clear that in Europe and around the world. climate action must be liberated from private profit because, if it's not, then we will never reach emissions reductions targets.
EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan “We fully agree with the urgency expressed by the #Youthforclimate actions. Action is needed now to prevent climate disaster. That will affect our jobs and our communities. The EU needs massive public investment to bring about this change. What we do not need is more subsidies, tax breaks for polluters.”
The allies are working together to develop policy approaches that are anchored in public ownership of energy systems and that support planned and effective decarbonization in order to ensure a just transition at EU level. They recognise the problems of investor-focused neoliberal approaches based on “public private partnerships” (P3), power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the over-reliance on "market mechanisms" (like carbon pricing, subsidies for private companies). Reaching net-zero emissions is not possible without an energy democracy approach, based on the real involvement of workers and citizens.
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On TUED and EPSU
The trade unions for energy democracy TUED is a global, multi-sector initiative to advance democratic direction and control of energy. It does this in a way that promotes solutions to the climate crisis, energy poverty, the degradation of both land and people, and responds to the attacks on workers’ rights and protections. For more information http://unionsforenergydemocracy.org/ EPSU is a member of TUED.
The network of unions has worked with many others and produced state of the art materials and arguments on why it is crucial that we urgently address the planetary crisis facing us.
EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Trade Unions that brings together 8 million workers and 260 trade unions in all European countries. www.epsu.org. The Federation has identified climate change as the largest single threat to current and future generations. It is posing fundamental challenges for public services and public service workers. The pursuit of profit maximisation and growth at all costs are a driver of climate change. We need a sustainable society through a just transition whereby no one is left behind.
EPSU is a member of the European Coalition to address Energy Poverty. The Executive Committee expressed its support for the 15 March actions.
For more information on the work on Climate Justice of Friends of the Earth Europe, another member of the Energy poverty coalition, www.foeeurope.org (issues/ climate justice)
The work of Transnational Institute (TNI) is available under www.tni.org see the section on programmes
And the materials and resources of Transform! can be accessed at www.transform-network.net