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Cities, the key to climate justice

4 December, 2015
12.30 - 14.00
Event type: 
Cut emissions, not public services!
Local and regional government (LRG) workers are especially critical for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change, as more than half of humanity now lives in cities, and the rate of urbanization is accelerating. Changes are needed to make our cities equitable, safe and environmentally sustainable.

PSI Local and Regional Government Panel at COP 21 - Trade Union Forum on Climate and Jobs

‘Cities, the Key to Climate Justice’
4 December 2015 - 12:30 – 14:00, Espace Générations Climat, Salle 2, Parc des Expositions Paris - Le Bourget, Paris

Urban residents need universal access to core public services, such as waste collection and recycling, water and sanitation, transport, energy, health and social services, education. And, any sustainable solution must address the issues of migration/refugees and the problems of slums, which trap hundreds of millions in conditions of desperation.

One of the key issues for local and regional governments is finance. The 20-year experiment with decentralization has brought decisions about services closer to the people who receive them, however, this process has not been accompanied by decentralized tax powers or guaranteed financing. Thus, many city and municipal governments are starved for funds. This will be further aggravated by the investment needs for moving to low or zero carbon communities. As it stands, the majority of so-called “green funds” appear to be oriented towards market-based solutions. Which funds can be adapted to the needs of cities and public services? Just Transition for municipal workers is an essential part of the deal, and will be part of the Million Climate Jobs.


  • Ms Eva Joly, Member of the European Parliament (Verts-ALE), Vice-Chair of the Special Committee on Tax rulings of the Justice et Affaires Commission, Member of the International Commission on the Reform of Corporate Taxation (ICRCT)
  • Hon Ian Hunter MLC, Minister for Climate Change, South Australian Government
  • Mr Dave Green, National Officer, Fire Brigades Union, UK
  • Mr Mansour Cherni, Gas and Electricity Trade Union Federation of Tunisia, PSI MENA Region Coordinator
  • Mr Robert Kehew, Leader, Climate Change Planning Unit, Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-HABITAT


  • Ms Daria Cibrario, Policy Officer, Local and Regional Government & Multinational Enterprises, Public Services International (PSI)


Illustrate and grasp the challenges of the local and city dimension of climate change and its consequences faced by local governments, civil society as well as municipal workers and their trade unions. Explore solutions and current practices for confronting such challenges, including financing for preparedness, mitigation and adaptation measures as well as social dialogue mechanisms.

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