The setting of this year’s UN climate negotiations – Katowice, Poland – is one of the last remaining coal regions in Europe.
It is there, at COP24, that the question is being raised about how to make renewable power transitions just and fair for the people and communities who will be affected by them.
World leaders have addressed and responded to the question with the joint adoption of the ‘Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration’ – signed on the opening day of COP.
“The choice we are making is not between jobs and natural environment, but whether we are going to keep both or none of them,” Polish President Andrzej Duda emphasised during the announcement.
“This declaration means that workers and their unions will have a seat at the negotiating table and workers’ voices will be heard when climate policies are developed and implemented,” B Team Vice-Chair and International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Sharan Burrow commented, “Good social dialogue processes are a crucial factor to make the changes to industries, sectors and national economies that will stop dangerous climate change and unleash a 65 million low-carbon jobs dividend by 2030.”
According to The B Team, businesses concerned about a just transition can join the Polish President in “being delighted” that 37 states, including Germany, France, Bangladesh and Nepal, as well as the EU as a whole have adopted this declaration.
The next step is for these governments to put their words into action and develop specific just transition plans (i.e. investment in green jobs, reskilling and investment in social security measures for those that cannot be transitioned), made in consultation with workers and employers, that are aligned with their national climate strategies.
The B Team is a catalyst for bold dialogue and brave business action toward a fairer, greener and more human economy and its mission and impact to date reflect the tremendous power of the private sector to drive long-term, inclusive, sustainable economic growth.