'Climate change is the main environmental problem facing humanity.' - ITUC.
Ottawa (12 Aug. 2009) - Today is International Youth Day as recognized worldwide by the United Nations General Assembly. This year young people all over the planet are mobilizing around the theme: Sustainability: Our Challenge, Our Future.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and its youth committee are observing the occasion by focusing on the global fight of young trade unionists for the right to have sustainable, decent, green jobs.
"Climate change is the main environmental problem facing humanity," says the Brussels-based ITUC.
"It is the cause of the multiplication of extreme weather events, such as drought, floods, heat and cold waves. Its consequences are aggravated desertification and erosion as well as irreversible changes in ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. It will deeply affect all aspects of young peoples lives: food and water supplies, the patterns and zones of diseases, the way we produce and consume. It will also have effects on employment, where young people are already at greater risk than others."
While the entire planet will be affected, the impact will be felt most by the poorest and most vulnerable, the ITUC says.
"Young trade unionists want to be part of the solution for a fairer, environmentally responsible society that respects human and labour rights. They share the double ambition to achieve solidarity today while also protecting future needs," it says.
"They stress the need to support and assist those who are the most vulnerable during the transition process and the need to build a sustainable green economy that simultaneously creates new jobs while addressing environmental, economic and social inequalities."
The ITUC represents 170 million workers in 157 countries and has 312 national affiliates.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE