President Sjöö identified how neo liberalism is a driver for adverse carbon pollution.
“To fight climate change we also need to oppose neo-liberal free trade agreements that can undermine both workers’ rights and necessary reforms to save the planet – such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership that are currently being negotiated. In addition to being anti-democratic, both of these documents put corporate profits above human needs. Both documents also create barriers to local and community actions designed to promote a circular and just economy by allowing profit based challenges to overrule climate smart policies.”
“The history of neo-liberalism is one of subjugation: the subjugation of the planet, the subjugation of workers, and the subjugation of people of colour, women, and indigenous peoples. We have all suffered as a result of this subjugation. It is important to also remind ourselves that these actions to destroy the planet and workers for profit are not an accident. It is at the core of neo liberalism and is its inevitable outcome.”
He also called for trade unions to reach to to non-traditional social partner.
“More importantly, we need to grow, unify, and strengthen the movement for climate justice. The politicians will not act unless there is a strong pressure from below. We, trade unions and workers of the world need to be part of building this movement. We need to reach out to other non-traditional social partners to help them and to educate them to what we know; that is, social degradation is the foundational cause for environmental degradation and until we can unite the various climate change advocates we will continue to be less effective then we need to be.”
BWI General Secretary, Ambet Yuson, echoed his President’s call for unity. “The trade Union movement can not by itself force MNC’s to put social and environmental justice in front of short-term profits. For this to happen we need to build a global coalition well beyond the borders of trade unions. This means that every union member must carry this conversation to their dinner table, and to church and other social groups. We need to become a force that cannot be ignored”.
BWI calls on all its members and friends to contact their national government delegates to ask them to support including the “just transition” language in Chapter 2 of the Paris climate document.