Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 16
Unions united have a unique opportunity to shape Labours policy…
There is much to welcome from this summer’s round of union conferences. Unite came out firmly against fracking, PCS decided to campaign for a Just Transition Act, and the Bakers’ union, champions of the McDonalds strikers, launched a new green newsletter, Green Stuff.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 15
Get in touch with the zeitgeist
When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, the Conservatives are well out of step with the general public. Onshore wind and solar power projects, starved of government backing, command huge public support (over 87% in one poll). The result? Green investment here has ‘plummeted to its lowest level for ten years.’
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 14
In this Newsletter, we are launching a new Joint Statement on Just Transition, and would urge you to offer your organisation’s support. Global trade unions successfully campaigned to have a commitment to a ‘just transition’ inserted into the UN’s Paris Agreement in 2015. What happens next here in the UK will determine if this term has any meaning.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 13
A future which doesn’t cost the earth
The UK government must issue firmer, more ambitious decarbonisation policies as a “matter of urgency” if it is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. So says the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the government’s independent climate watchdog, in its formal response to last November’s Clean Growth Strategy.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 12
Bonn climate talks – unions zone in on Just Transition
Trade unions from across the globe headed for the international climate change talks in Bonn (November 6-17th) with a single purpose: to hold governments to their word that the Paris Agreement endorsed by the UN in December 2015 would ‘Take into account the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities.’
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 11
Our economy is in the wrong hands
A landmark study of public opinion in the UK since the General Election has found widespread support for Labour’s nationalisation agenda, and much less support for free enterprise. More than three-quarters of the public say that water, electricity, gas and railways should be in the hands of the public sector. Great then that unions have caught the new public mood.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 10
Another world is possible
Words are powerful and can shape our understanding. Dull words like ‘environment’ don’t sparkle. Scientist George Monbiot argues that , “If we called protected areas ‘places of natural wonder’, we would not only speak to people’s love of nature but also establish an aspiration that conveys what they ought to be. Let’s stop using the word environment, and use terms such as ‘living planet’ and ‘natural world’ instead, as they allow us to form a picture of what we are describing. Let’s abandon the term climate change and start saying ‘climate breakdown’. Instead of extinction, let’s adopt the word promoted by the lawyer Polly Higgins: ecocide.”
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 9
Caroline Lucas said, “It beggars belief that this election has been almost environment-free when we face an air pollution crisis, a climate denier in the White House, the threat of an extreme Brexit and accelerating climate change.”
She’s right of course. Both Labour and the Green Party manifestos presented voters with some of the most progressive and democratic environmental choices ever. Yet in reality, the issue disappeared from the debate.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 8
The Earth has a message for politicians in this election, and so do we. Measurements taken from Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory show that carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere just reached concentrations not seen in three million years. Trump may despise science and love fake news. Theresa May can sell off our only Green Investment Bank and fake action to deal with toxic air in our cities, as we report here. But the condition of the planet doesn’t lie.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 7
There’s no escaping the reality that unions are at the heart of the fight against climate change. No blind eye turning will help. No heavy hearted ‘jobs-versus-environment’ get outs. Fossil fuels are polluting the very air we breathe. Yet the transition from fossil fuels is ‘neither imminent nor inevitable’, as we report from a new TUED study. Trump has split the US labour movement by reversing President Obama’s ban on two trans-America pipelines. With average wages falling, what’s not to like about Trump’s promises of more oil and more steelmaking jobs?
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 6
The tame phrase ‘climate change’ hardly does justice to the universal carbon pollution that is choking our cities, acidifying the oceans, disrupting seasons with unbounded extremes of heat and cold, and magnifying storms and droughts. As we report here, one impact among many is on 140 million people displaced through climate-related disasters in the past six years. The risks will redouble in coming decades, reversing years of development activity and driving up inequality in the global South.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 5
The impact of a Donald Trump presidency has not taken long to emerge. The new White House website refers to an ‘America First Energy Plan’, getting rid of ‘burdensome regulations in our energy industry’ and scrapping Obama’s ‘Climate Action Plan.’ There is no mention of climate change, only the unlimited use of coal, shale gas and oil. The environment is reduced to protecting air and water.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 4
The three months since we re-launched the Greener Jobs Alliance has seen quite a few highs and lows. At the international level we had the coming into force of the Paris Agreement at the same time as a victory for Donald Trump in the US elections. Now we’ve had the latest announcement that a climate change sceptic, Scott Pruitt, has been put in charge of the Environment Agency. It has inevitably raised huge concerns about the future direction of US policy.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 3
Welcome to the third edition of our newsletter. It has been written against the backdrop of the election result in the USA, and the start of the CoP22 meeting in Marrakech.
Greener Jobs Alliance Newsletter No 2
Welcome to the second edition of our newsletter. In it we report on debates and decisions at the TUC and Labour Party last month. We also continue our assessment of the steps needed to transform the economy to meet the challenges of a low carbon future.
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