Tackling Climate Change

This climate change motion being submitted by Ealing Association to the National Union of Teachers  conference next Easter.

Conference congratulates the work done by union officials on the basis of existing policy by, amongst other things,  supporting protests called by the Campaign Against Climate Change,  securing a joint-union fund from DEFRA to train workplace ‘green reps’ and organising NUT training days. We also recognise the many steps being taken by members in schools to both educate young people about the causes of and threats from catastrophic climate change, as well as taking practical steps to lessen our carbon footprint. 

Conference welcomes the Save Vestas campaign during the summer of 2009 which saw the environmental and trade union movements working closely together for the first time, as a model of unity in action that we want to encourage and see more of in the future.  In particular, the Save Vestas campaign has brought onto the wider agenda the need for collective, class-conscious solutions to the issues. It has also exposed the shallowness of governmental commitment to both renewable energy alternatives, such as wind power, and green job creation, despite the targets set in its Climate Bill.

However, Conference also believes that the union has to intensify its own work against climate change, in terms of both policy and action, as part of the wider workers’ movement.  

For example, we need to thoroughly scrutinise the energy solutions being promoted by government such as the switch to bio-fuel production, the reliance on untested Carbon Capture and Storage coal plants, renewed investment in nuclear power and carbon trading. We also need to challenge any reliance on the private sector to create green jobs and develop sufficient energy provision from renewable and carbon-negative means.

Conference further believes that action on these issues requires the maximum of unity across the trade union and environmental movement, such as at Copenhagen in December 2009.

Conference therefore instructs the executive to:

  1. Affiliate to the Campaign against Climate Change, and the wider Stop Climate Chaos umbrella organisation.
  2. Develop with such campaigning groups educational materials for schools that teachers can use to teach about the issues underpinning climate change and how to tackle it.
  3. Continue to develop green reps in associations and schools and CPD events that address the full range of issues related to climate change.
  4. Support the call for a million new green jobs and 10% carbon emission reduction by the end of 2010.

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