Trade union strategies on climate change mitigation: Between opposition, hedging and support

Adrien Thomas, Nadja Dörflinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article aims to provide a better understanding of trade unions’ climate change strategies. Using a qualitative methodology based on an analysis of interviews and documents, the article sets out the three ideal-typical strategies of unions towards climate change mitigation policies: opposition, hedging and support. Our analysis finds that current trade union strategies on climate change are primarily rooted in sectoral interests mediated by union identities and conceptions of union democracy. At a theoretical level, the article contributes to broader debates on interest representation and collective bargaining behaviour by trade unions, in particular to the much-discussed tendency of organized groups to pursue private gains at the expense of common goods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-399
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Climate policy
  • concession bargaining
  • decarbonization
  • trade union strategy
  • Europe
  • European Union
  • social dialogue

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