President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, has called for public service workers and their unions to take the lead on climate change, gender equality and a fairer economy in a keynote speech to open the Congress of EPSU in Dublin, which will run until 7th June.
Responding to the challenge of climate change
Climate change, the largest single threat to current and future generations, is posing fundamental challenges for public services and public service workers. In recent years, we have seen extreme weather events, flooding and forest fires for example, leading to loss of life and widespread damage and destruction of buildings and infrastructure. Our members across many services have been part of the immediate and longer term response – in emergency and rescue services, energy and water, local and regional government. EPSU has been working hard to influence policies at global and European level aimed at decarbonising our economies and calling for a shift away from growth at all costs. It is essential that we achieve a more sustainable society is achieved through a just transition whereby no one is left behind.
This briefing, produced for EPSU's 2019 Congress, sets out the federation's recent activity on climate change and current priorities. EPSU has published research focusing on some of the key issues and policy developments including its position on the EU's Green Deal, the failure of energy liberalisation to address climate change and an analysis of action on climate change adaptation.
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.
EPSU Executive Committee – supports Climate strike, discusses Congress, EP elections and recent EU policy
Several unions are supporting the #youthforclimate actions which are taking place across Europe. The urgency is felt and far more needs to be done to prevent global warming spiraling out of control.
New research published in "The Lancet" ahead of the COP24 shows that emissions, climate change and rising temperatures are already exposing people around the globe to unacceptably high health risks.
Access to quality health, care and education and fairer and better tax, benefit and social protection systems are among some of the positive elements in the European Commission’s 2019 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) that was published on 21 November.
In a timely intervention, the FSC-CCOO has called on the government to put more resources into the prevention and fighting of forest fires - an issue which the union sees has become one of the most urgent for the country and rural communities. Along with a strengthening of the fire service - increased employment, professionalisation and training - the union argues that more has to be done to take preventative measures, some of which could actually help to boost rural economies.