COP26: A message from General Secretary Roy Rickhuss CBE

Today marks the first official day of COP26 in Glasgow.

COP26, also known as the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, is a summit to bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President, was correct when he said “We know that… COP26 is our last best hope to keep 1.5 [degrees] in reach”.

He went on to say that the “rapidly changing climate is sounding an alarm to the world to step up… to act now to keep 1.5 alive”.

I will be a delegate at COP26, representing our members and British industry.

In my decades in the trade union movement there has not been a single bigger challenge to jobs, communities and nations than climate change. At Community, we’re campaigning for #AJustTransitionForAll. We reject anyone who may consign the trade union movement to irrelevance on this issue.

I, and my colleagues from our movement, will be pushing the government to do much more to achieve a just transition, and argue the case for the role of the trade union movement in working towards our climate goals.

I will be arguing for investment in green steel and a green industrial strategy at its core, and for engaging with workers whose industries will be impacted by climate change. You can read more about why green steel is a pivotal solution to the climate crisis in my recent piece in the New Statesman here.

If you will also be attending COP26, do come along to our event on Monday – A Just Transition: Getting to net zero in the steel and energy industries. The event will feature union representatives and industry experts discussing the future of the energy and steel industries in a low-carbon economy.

Boris Johnson said yesterday that there are “no compelling excuses” for failing to act on global warming. On this, he is correct. For our planet, for jobs and for future generations, we need him and the other world leaders to get this right.

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at or on 0800 389 6332.

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