Skip to content

Unions ready to start a just transition to low carbon economy

The Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sam Huggard welcomed the announcement today of Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods that the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) would be facilitating a tripartite approach with workers, business and government to plan a just transition for the oil and gas workforce.

“The urgency for a just transition to a sustainable future for New Zealanders increases every day,” Mr Huggard said. “Everyone will be affected and should be involved in the transition to sustainable energy, but the longer people working in directly affected industries have to plan and prepare, the better the outcomes will be for them and their families.”

“We need to respect the contribution that people working in New Zealand’s fossil-fuel industries have made to developing the goods, services and modern way of life we rely on today. How we demonstrate this respect is ensuring workers have a full transition plan that maps the move to new secure, well-paying jobs, recognises existing skills and supports retraining, and provides financial support to protect people’s quality of life.

“We know from overseas experience that trade unions, environmentalists and industry partners working together can deliver sustainable, high paying jobs with equivalent or better terms and conditions than the fossil fuel industry. The key is starting the transition plan early, and holding open conversations so we make sure communities’ needs are met into the future.”

“There are no jobs on a dead planet. That’s the international motto of the Just Transition movement. We have a make or break opportunity to show the world that there is a future for a sustainable way of living that protects our way of life. We’re ready to seize that opportunity with both hands and look forward to engaging with Government and industry on the transition plan very soon.”

To read more about what a Just Transition means for working people, see: