We need real action on climate change, while ensuring a just transition so that no worker is left behind. Students and workers together can drive this change.
The following recommendation was adopted unanimously at the April 2019 regular meeting of the VDLC, following a rousing speech by Rebecca of the Sustainabiliteens, who have spearheaded the organizing of the student Climate Strike in Vancouver.
Subject: Climate Strike
BECAUSE the next Canada wide focused climate strike is May 3rd; and
BECAUSE the main goal of these student-organized actions is to join the global call to support our youth’s demands for governments to start acting to combat climate change; and
BECAUSE Trade Unions for Energy Democracy bring unions from all sectors together so that we can collectively find a way to become strong, independent agents of progressive change. Some of their goals are to:
-Help build and strengthen a global trade union community for energy democracy. TUED is a platform for trade unions from all sectors and countries to debate, develop and promote real solutions to the climate crisis, land grabs, energy poverty, and pollution generated by fossil fuels — solutions that can build unions, worker and community power, and advance social and environmental justice,
-Develop high-impact union educational materials, distribute an electronic bulletin, and convene meetings and working retreats that encourage debate and help create a shared analysis of key energy and climate issues,
-Connect the energy democracy agenda to union struggles and campaigns in ways that build broad membership engagement, increase worker power, and facilitate solidarity across movements that share similar goals; and
BECAUSE the Canadian Labour Congress is already a member of TUED; and
BECAUSE the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that if we stay under the temperature increase of 1.5 degrees, we will be able to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change, including the eventual extinction of our species and most other species. This will only occur with drastic, immediate global action,
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL join the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy initiative, a global, multi-sector initiative to advance democratic direction and control of energy in a way that promotes solutions to the climate crisis, energy poverty, and the degradation of both land and people, and responds to the attacks on workers’ rights and protections; and
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL recognize that climate change:
- Presents an existential threat, being a “global emergency” according to the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report; and
- Has already had negative impacts both internationally and in Canada, as evidenced by the breaking of heat records, prolonged and more aggressive forest fire seasons, and increased extreme weather patterns; and
- Is a product of inequality, with 70% of the world’s global emissions caused by 100 of the world’s largest companies; and
- Will have the biggest impact on working-class people and developing countries; and
- Requires immediate and wide-reaching action within the next decade to avoid disaster and therefore:
- Endorse all future strikes by the climate student strikers
- Express our solidarity with climate student strikers fighting for real climate action
- Offer practical support for the strike, including, but not limited to: promotion of the strike and encouraging members to attend.