STUC and Scottish Government issue joint communiqué on Climate Change

May 28th 2009

Joint Communiqué on Climate Change from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Congress


We agree that:

  • Climate change is the most serious environmental threat faced by the global community and Scotland. It is right that Scotland should contribute to the global effort necessary to mitigate climate change.
  • Addressing climate change can deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to Scotland.  The creation of quality jobs through the transition to a low-carbon economy represents a major economic opportunity for Scotland.
  • The transition to a sustainable economy needs to be socially just so that all parts of society partake in the benefits of growth and responsibilities are shared fairly.
  • Addressing the economic, employment and social impacts of the transition to the low-carbon economy and adapting to climate change will be vital to building stakeholder support and delivering the necessary programmes of action.
  • Government, the public sector, employers, trades unions, civic society, communities and members of the public all have important roles to play in delivering the transition to sustainable economic growth and a low-carbon Scotland.
  • The greening of the workplace has a central role to play in delivering emissions cuts and promoting environmental action throughout society. Worker involvement is the key to culture change in the workplace. Good practice developed in the workplace will also have a positive influence in the home and community. 
  • The Scottish Government’s Climate Change legislation sets a world-leading level of ambition by covering all the internationally recognised greenhouse gases and emissions from international aviation and shipping, increasing the 2020 interim target to at least 42% emissions cuts if the EU commit to 30% cuts by 2020 following a new global agreement on climate change, and setting in statute the Government Economic Strategy target of 80% emissions cuts by 2050.
  • Action on climate change should centre on mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions), adaptation (resilience to changes in the climate) and communication (of climate change messages).
  • Scotland has a vast potential and comparative advantage in renewable energy, as well as being strategically positioned on carbon capture and storage and on collaboration to develop UK and European energy grid networks.  Developing Scotland’s renewable energy potential can help sustain fragile, remote economies through the creation of skilled, middle income employment. Forestry is also another area of comparative advantage for Scotland. New technologies in energy efficiency and vehicles provide additional opportunities for Scotland to grow skilled employment. 


Together we agree to:

  • Recognise the potential of the low-carbon economy to deliver quality, secure employment.
  • Work in partnership to ensure that the economic, employment, social and environmental benefits to Scotland of developing a low carbon economy are maximised.
  • Work in partnership to develop policies to green the Scottish workplace and provide effective support to workers displaced by the transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Work in partnership to ensure that the regulatory framework for energy is supportive of new investment, particularly in remote communities. 
  • Promote the importance of education, training, skills and workforce development in delivering effective action on climate change.
  • Ensure Government policy on climate change contributes to community cohesion and reducing inequalities.
  • Government analysts will undertake a scoping exercise of what research there is on the impact of climate change on employment at national and regional level and report back to the STUC with the results.

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