Towards a Just Transition: International Labor Perspectives on Energy, Climate and Economy
May 29th, 2018.
Cherkasky / Davis Conference Center
330 West 42nd Street, Penthouse (btwn 8th & 9th Ave)
New York, NY 10036
On May 29, 2018, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) will host a 60-person one-day international meeting at the Cherkasky Davis Conference Center in the headquarters 1199 SEIU in New York City.
The meeting, titled Towards a Just Transition: International Labor Perspectives on Energy, Climate and Economy will bring together union leaders and staff from Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, the Philippines, the UK and the US (including Puerto Rico). Also joining the meeting will be key allies working in policy and environmental spaces. The list of participants is here.
Global Labor’s Struggle for “Just Transition”
Just Transition is now at the center of the global debate on how best to address the climate emergency, rising global pollution levels, and the need for viable alternatives to fossil fuels. Included in the Paris Climate Agreement, Just Transition has become a top priority for unions and has been taken up by important allies in different social movements.
The debate is unfolding at a time when trade unions are under attack in many regions of the world and the established approaches and methods used to defend workers and build unions are being severely tested. The May 29th event will provide an opportunity to discuss Just Transition in the light of new realities.
Union leaders from the global South will discuss what Just Transition means in a region where pollution and emissions levels are rising while inequality and authoritarianism are also increasing. Unions engaged in fighting for worker protections and public control over the energy sector will discuss their regional efforts to build campaigns against privatization and toward alternatives that begin to address Just Transition and the growing social, economic and environmental crises.
The Need for a Transformative Politics
The meeting will be informed by the recently published TUED Working Paper titled Trade Unions and Just Transition: The Search for a Transformative Politics. The paper articulates the need to develop an integrated and transformational approach to Just Transition, one that can help us connect workers’ immediate struggles and concerns to the need for a longer-term transformation of political economy.
TUED is a network of 62 unions including 4 Global Union Federations, 3 regional organizations, and 8 national centers. Also participating in TUED are 10 allied organizations from the policy and academic communities. A complete list of participating unions and movement allies is here.
TUED is a project of the Murphy Institute’s Center for Labor and Policy Studies of the City University of New York (CUNY) and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung–New York Office.