Landsorganisasjonen i Norge

Hans-Christian Gabrielsen, nestleder i LO Foto: Trond Isaksen

Just transition

LO 2nd Vice President Hans-Christian Gabrielsen held the following speech during the debate on climate at ITUC Congress in Berlin on 20 May.

Just transition

The draft "Framework for Action on Sustainable Jobs, Secure Incomes and Social Protection" addresses major challenges to the world of work; such as growing inequality and social injustice, and the urgent need for a transition to environmental sustainability.

The transition to sustainable development should be built on the principle of "Just Transition" based on Decent Work, full and productive employment, respect for workers' rights, social protection and social dialogue.

We are very pleased to have the climate issue as a focus area in the ITUC work, and would like to give recognition and praise for the efforts undertaken, especially in connection with the UN international climate negotiations. LO-Norway will continue to give priority to the climate work internationally, together with our colleagues in the international trade union movement.

LO-Norway has long and positive experiences in tripartite collaboration between employees, employers and governments. We have brought with us this way of work to the climate work arena as well. It is equally important to bring with us tripartism and direct contact with national delegations to the international climate negotiations.

At the same time, we are very much aware of the fact that we already to a very large extent already have impacted national government and policy. But we can do more!

We strongly support the Norwegian commitments for financing, and for supporting developing countries through the projects on measures against deforestation and forest degradation, the international climate and energy initiative (Energy+) and the efforts to ensure a transfer of climate friendly technologies to developing countries.

LO now calls for the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), our so-called "oil-fund" to act as a climate responsible investor, to get out of climate hazardous businesses and activities and to invest more in renewable energy and renewable infrastructure.

So, to the question 'will industry save the climate?'

At home, we have seen that industry has been able to reduce emissions by nearly 40 percent the last few decades. Strict national regulation has obviously been a major driver, but we have seen changes in production methods and products also, due to knowledge and awareness about pollution and climate change, - and because of new technologies.

I regard myself a technology optimist, and I am confident industry will be part of the solution. We will for example need to phase out fossil fuels in many areas. I would like to mention an example of exciting and promising research going on in Norway, which is to develop biofuels for aviation from wood and also from algae. This could reduce emission from aviation substantially.

Environmentally sound technologies, hence industries for instance within renewable energies, will be essential to manage the shift to a sustainable future. Trade unions must take part in the transition ensuring the shift is fair

I would like to end this intervention by stating my support to the suggested action points for Climate action and UN Post-2015 Sustainability Goals in the draft framework.

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