Canada’s unions on COP27: Some wins, but we have our work cut out for us

November 21, 2022

The COP27 negotiations in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, delivered some important wins but highlighted that, more than ever, the world needs a Just Transition.

Canada’s unions are pleased that the Sharm El-Sheikh Implementation Plan emphasizes the need for a Just Transition to centre social dialogue and include social protection. This is a significant step forward that recognizes the importance of engaging workers and safe work. We are also encouraged by the creation of a Just Transition Work Programme to discuss pathways towards achieving global climate targets.

The agreement to create a historic loss and damage fund which will directly address the impact of climate change, particularly in the Global South, has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people who face the greatest risks from climate change.

During the summit, we were encouraged to hear Canada speak up for a Just Transition for workers and affected communities. We look forward to Canada living up to the spirit of those comments made in Sharm El-Sheikh at home.

Despite some of these important agreements, it is disappointing to see workers and labour rights left out of the cover text. There cannot be a Just Transition without labour rights. We are also disappointed to see countries backtrack on their commitment at COP26 to focus fully on renewable energy.

Canadians, and people around the world, needed a deal that set ambitious goals on climate and equity, a roadmap to meet them, and a clear recognition that workers need, and are essential to, a Just Transition.

We are proud of our efforts to represent Canadian workers at this critical global climate conference. But it is clear we have our work cut out for us.

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