The world faces a climate crisis. Australian workers know that we can be part of the solution, building new low carbon industries and creating decent jobs. But unlike many other countries Australia has no coherent climate or energy policy and no plan to support workers and communities as we reduce emissions across the economy.
Australian unions are stepping up to face the climate crisis, reducing emissions, creating new clean energy jobs, and on the frontlines fighting extreme weather like bushfires and floods.
Climate change is impacting all workers
Australian workers are on the frontline of climate change. Health professionals and carers are supporting Australians through heatwaves and bushfires. Workers on farms and in food manufacturing businesses are affected by increased temperatures and drought. Public servants working in government departments are administering disaster relief programs. Over summer teachers were dealing with traumatised children and evacuations in fire zones and with kids uncertain about the future of our planet. Posties and essential services workers face unprecedented heat and difficult working conditions. And workers in manufacturing businesses and the energy sector increasingly need a plan to clean up Australia’s energy supply in order to remain viable.
Professional firefighters at work fighting bushfires over the 2019-20 Australian summer
Workers and unions need to lead responses to Climate change
For too long workers have been left out of Australia’s climate policy debate. Voices representing workers in industries affected by climate change need to be heard. The ACTU and Australian unions are committed to ensuring Australia leads on climate change and that the action we take is good for workers. We can create good clean energy jobs, reduce emissions and look after working people. That’s why we need to lead and make the case for a climate change and jobs agenda.
Climate Safety at Work Summit
In October 2021 the ACTU held a Climate Safety at Work Summit to explore the ways that climate change is already impacting Australian workers, and what unions are doing about it in the lead up to global climate talks.
Watch the summit here:
Read the ACTU's Congress 2021 climate and energy policy: A safe climate with good unions jobs
Read the ACTU 2021 Congress Safe Climate Action plan