What’s a green and just transition to a sustainable world look like?
For Bruno Dobrusin, the just transition coordinator at the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), defining a green transition comes easily. With the transport sector responsible for 20% of carbon emissions, an environmentally friendly move would be to decarbonize the sector and reduce emissions. Yet in order to reach the goal of limiting global temperature increase to just 1.5 degrees Celsius, numerous steps need to be taken, including, for example, the electrification of mobility. That just transition is what Bruno concerns himself with.
As a representative of the ITF, which comprises 700 affiliate trade unions from 150 countries, Bruno serves as the voice of nearly 20 million working men and women across the world, from aviation and maritime workers to public transport and dockworkers.
“Green and just are key connections for us,” says Bruno. “We don’t want to put the jobs of workers in contrast with the environmental and climate needs in our society.”
That means thinking about the workers who may be impacted by moves towards more sustainable means of transport and ensuring they are brought along during the transition is key. Swapping out a diesel bus for an electric bus, for example, might include retraining drivers with the new equipment. But what about the mechanics who maintain the buses?
Paying attention to where the transition takes place is important as well; are more vulnerable communities going to continue to experience severe air pollution from diesel fumes while wealthier communities are served by electric buses during the phase out period?
“If we want to decarbonize our society, our cities, our public transport, it is key that the workers who are going to lead that decarbonization are going to be incorporated into the process,” says Bruno.
Workers, he says, want to be a part of that transition and they have the knowledge of the system and experiences that can be drawn on during the transport transition. There are several key elements to consider while making the transition to a green and just system that Bruno discussed with the TUMI team during an interview for our podcast. To hear more about how food delivery drivers are preparing for climate change impacts and why transport and mobility requires public sector involvement, listen to our episode with Bruno, available for download on the TUMI website.