COP21 opening statement: Solving climate change is our best hope for peace and prosperity
The 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties is opening today in the city of light after several days of grief following the Paris attacks.
Around 570,000 people joined climate marches around the world, with more than 2000 events taking place in 175 countries. In Paris, UNI Global Union and ITUC joined the peaceful Human Chain Action for climate action.
For Philip Jennings, the General Secretary of UNI Global Union, “Heads of States and decision-makers are now converging towards Paris. Our message to them is very clear. It is a message of hope, peace and prosperity.”
“The science is clear: we need to stay well below a 2°C global temperature increase to avoid catastrophic consequences for the planet and humanity. What is needed it political leadership. Solutions exist. We can do it. We can afford it.”
“The COP21 is an unprecedented opportunity to rethink our societies. We need to refit our economies, cities, buildings and transport systems. A 1% increase in public investments would create 40 million jobs. This transition might be the greatest job creation opportunity ever.”
“A safe climate is a human right, it is not an option. If we don’t act urgently, climate change will exacerbate inequalities and on-going conflicts. There could be hundreds of millions of climate refugees worldwide. With these migrations, we know that many governments will be tempted to restore authoritarian regimes putting democracy and freedom at risk.”
“Let’s embark on the right path for a just transition towards a low carbon economy while bringing back democracy, peace and prosperity.”
UNI Global Union, which represents more than 20 million services workers around the world is joining the ITUC call on governments to:
Raise ambition and realize job potential of climate action reducing emissions before and beyond 2020 in line with an equitable 2°C pathway with a robust review mechanism.
Deliver on climate finance and support the most vulnerable by mobilizing at least 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020.
Commit to securing a just transition for workers and their communities in the operational part of the Paris agreement.
Contact in Paris for the opening of COP21:
Elise Buckle, UNI Global Union Communications Coordinator – Climate firstname.lastname@example.org