Beau Boughamer,, 202/765-9143

Issued November 30, 2015

SEIU President Henry: Working families worldwide need bold commitments from global leaders at U.N. climate conference

WASHINGTON—Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement on today’s opening of the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris (COP21).

"As part of the largest healthcare and service sector union in America, SEIU members, including the delegation of members in Paris for COP21, know first-hand the life-threatening impacts caused by the pollution that has led to climate change and by the extreme weather and food and water impacts that have resulted from it. They see it in their patients, too many of them children, who come to be treated for asthma, respiratory aliments and other climate related health calamities. And they see it in their workplaces and neighborhoods where the devastating impacts of pollution, droughts, wildfires, floods, vector-borne diseases, and poor air and water supply and quality disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income communities the world over.

“Working and poor families across the globe are bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change. For them the threat is real and the time for bold action from world leaders is now.

"As world leaders gather over the next two weeks in Paris at the U.N.'s COP 21 climate talks, they must move beyond talk toward action with bold commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are executed with accountability and transparency, that support a just transition for impacted workers and their families and that mobilize financial support for developing nations.”


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.