The Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) was launched in 2010 to campaign around the issue of the jobs and skills needed to transition to a low carbon economy.
Issues affecting the preceding twelve months work included the cost of living crisis, the war in Ukraine which has a huge impact on the global economy including gas supplies from Russia, disappointing outcomes from CoP26 and widespread industrial action. Work on air quality is ongoing under the TUCAN banner which the Branch has been involved with since its inception, apart from the CWU there are twelve other unions signed up to the TUCAN Charter.
The GJAs monthly newsletter is excellent, always has been, and every union activist should subscribe whatever their role.
Forthcoming twelve months GLA will look to further develop and campaign for Green Jobs and Skills initiatives; work to affect union policy development on climate change debates around oil and gas, nuclear, aviation, supply chains etc.
GLA officers reports by:
Chair – Quinn Runkle (SOS-NUS)
Secretary – Tahir Latif (ex-PCS)
Treasurer – Graham Petersen (BWTUC)
Newsletter Editor – Paul Atkin (NEU)
“Labour and Climate” discussion led by the inspirational MP Clive Lewis Norwich South (straight from a picket line). It does seem that as fast as unions move on climate cruise the target seems to mover away and deepens but tackling the climate crisis is not an “add on” for unions, it is essential business. It is a class issue and an equalities issue; the poor can’t give up what they don’t consume but the rich can. It is not merely about planting trees, though that is important, it is about democratic failure so we need to democratise the economy.
The growth paradigm is unsustainable and we also need to deal with an aging population (great point that one). To tackle inequalities, we need to give people behind politicians a say in their community not just a vote we need a better more representative voting system to prevent people like johnson becoming PM. In the long term the UK could be broken up with regional and devolved governance. We have to change taxation; wealth tax should be the same as income tax and not allowing loophole that take millions of pounds out of the public purse that could be spent on the NHS or education. The CWU and all unions need to push the Green New Deal to members, it is for their and their family’s welfare as well as their whole future.
“A National Climate Service” presentation by Hannah David PCS Vice-President. There are one million climate jobs and PCS have done much work on this, highlighting energy democracy, a major topic at the union conference. New jobs yes but better sustainable jobs, covered in a report working alongside the University of Greenwich.
“Just Transition Officers (JTOs)” talk by Anna Markova, looking at how the workplace, a factory, could be switched to a new green sustainable production model; hope to have JTOs in place by the summer, with the automotive and steel industries however, the there is little investment in electric vehicle batteries from the government unlike in other countries, we are clearly slipping behind. In the long term we need less car ownership and to get away from the perceived need for us all to have one, however that needs proper cheap, safe and reliable public transport and car share clubs in local communities so there is no need to buy a car.
“Net Zero Court Decision” topic led by Niall Toru who is Senior Lawyer from Friends of the Earth. He set out the timeline for the FoE legal challenge (ref. the 2035 target of carbon reduction by 20035) to the Government which has implications in the next few weeks. We have the oldest, most power leaking housing stock in Europe to address, and there will be cars even if less of them. The government has to have a strategy and it has to present it to parliament but the last one was all rhetoric and no substance. They have to produce the revised strategy report by the 30th.March 2023 as the judge ordered.
There is to be a mass lobby of Parliament on 1st.April calling for proper funding for nationwide energy efficiency in homes to lower bills and tackle climate crisis. The government has failed to do the quickest and cheapest thing to help lower bills – insulate homes and swap gas boilers for heat pumps. If anyone cannot attend the lobby they can get in touch with their MP to arrange a meeting, on or as close as possible to 1st. April, or, can help by using social media channels and the hashtag #WarmThisWinter and re-sharing posts about the day.
Climate Education Bill https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3070
Climate & Ecology Bill https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/2772
Energy Bill https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3311
Local Edge, APPG www.appg-leftbehindneighbourhoods.org.uk/
Green New Deal www.labourgnd.uk/gnd-explained