Key Global Unions Back Public Ownership of Energy To Address Climate Crisis

Unions from both South and North are rallying behind a Trade Union Programme for a Public, Low Carbon Energy Future that aims to build support for reclaiming electricity systems to public ownership and control in order to address the climate emergency in ways that create jobs and address energy poverty.

The Programme will be released on Thursday, November 4th, at the headquarters of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) in Glasgow, just 2 miles from the Convention Center where COP26 is taking place. STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer will welcome participants, which will include union representatives from the global South, both in person and via the internet.

The Programme is the result of a year of work by the Trade Union Task Force for a Public Energy Future consisting of more than 30 unions from nearly 20 countries around the world.

Anchoring the programme is a major report that explains the failure of private markets to deliver on climate targets. The report details how major companies in the power sector — reclaimed to public ownership, governed democratically, and operating under a new “pro-public” mandate — can advance energy conservation and efficiency, and work in partnership with other public entities at national and global levels to carry out the energy transition we need while meeting the needs of users, workers and communities. The report is expected to be released in early 2022.

David Boys, PSI Deputy General Secretary said:

We have spent the past 40 years hollowing out government and privatising all public services, but it isn't working for the transition to low-carbon energy. A real transition requires publicly owned and managed energy systems, but will also require dismantling the many pillars of corporate control in our globalised societies. The work of TUED is key for unions to understand how and why the transition to low-carbon energy isn't working - and to see what needs to be done to protect workers and the environment.

Convened by the French energy and mining unions FNME-CGT, the global union federation Public Services International, and the 89-union network Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, the Programme already has the support of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Dutch trade union centre, FNV, the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), as well as key trade unions from the global South, including the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) of Trinidad and Tobago, the Argentinean federation CTA-A, and SENTRO, a union federation in The Philippines.

$2.4 trillion USD

Losses expected due to climate crisis across next decade

80 million

Jobs lost to climate change by 2030

$5.9 trillion USD

Current annual fossil fuel subsidies

The Agenda for the meeting on 4 November is available here:

For additional information, please contact:


  • David Boys, Deputy General Secretary, PSI, +33 6 0709 2647

  • Sean Sweeney, Coordinator, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, +1 917 886 1419


  • Karine Granger, Energy Advisor, FNME-CGT, +33 6 0869 9991