Sustainable jobs in a green economy seminar

Sustainable jobs in a green economy: The role of trade unions and collective bargaining

A seminar

Tuesday 18th May 2010, London

1:30m – 4:15pm

at NUT Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD

Map here:

organised by

The Institute of Employment Rights

The Institute is honoured to have Victoria Lambropoulos, an academic at Deakin University, Australia present for this seminar. Victoria will bring expertise in the debates which have happened in Australia around what constructive role trade unions can take in collectively bargaining for a green economy. Victoria will be joined by Sian Jones from the CWU, and Sarah Pearce from the TUC’s Green workplaces project.

Climate change is an issue which affects all workers and one which trade unions have been strong in engaging their membership – this includes the increase in environmental audits and green workplace reps. So what role can unions play in creating and maintaining sustainable jobs? What way can unions engage in greening the economy?

Speakers: Sian Jones, CWU; Victoria Lambropoulos, Deakin University, Australia; Sarah Pearce, TUC.

Full programme here:

Download the booking form here.



Prof. Barbara Harris-White looks at the flaws in the government’s strategy. The briefing paper below is based on her talk.


1. In July 2009, after more than a decade of policy instability, wavering and issuing many other plans and goals for Britain’s climate change response, the government published a Low Carbon Transition Plan (LCTP). If you know about this and want simply to know the answer to the question in the title, please fast track to section 7. For everyone else, this briefing tells you about the government’s plan, what the problems of the plan are, what the Tory alternative is, and then what the unions are doing.

The gist of the LCTP is this:

We will cut Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 34% on their 1990 levels – and by 18% on their 2008 levels by 2020. This will happen in five parts of the British economy – energy, transport, homes, workplaces, and agriculture/waste. By 2020 there will be 1.2 million green jobs.

Energy/ ‘Power’. Half of the total emissions cuts between 2010 and 2020 will come from shifting to green power. Three quarters of the drop will come from shifting to low carbon energy – renewables – and one quarter from shifting from oil and coal to nuclear power and ‘clean coal’. We will import half the gas we currently import and a ‘smart grid’ will link the many new energy sources with the national distribution network.

Transport. One fifth of the total drop between now and 2020 will be in transport (a 14% drop on 2008 levels). This will be achieved by cutting the emissions of the average new car by 40% (more on other vehicles below). Electrical charging points will be created in 6 urban areas. All air transport within Europe will have to join the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (more on this below).

Homes. 15% of the total drop will be in homes, achieved by means of improved energy efficiency (insulation, more efficient boilers, etc) together with the use of renewable energy technology (solar heating, etc) in 1.5 million houses. ‘Pay as you save’ schemes will help those who install renewable energy at home to pay for the costs as they save CO2 emissions.. Fifteen towns will champion innovations. 7 million homes will get whole-house make-overs to conserve energy. All this will reduce 2008 levels of CO2 emissions from homes by 29%.

Workplaces. A tenth of the planned drop will be at work (a fall of 13% on 2008 levels). More workplaces will be included in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (discussed below) and there will be subsidies and support for UK based renewable energy manufacturing.

Continue reading

Supporting the British Airways strikers

DSCF0486 At the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group meeting last weekend, supporters of the group voted to support the British Airways strikers who were taking part in their second strike. A message of support was sent to the picket lines at Heathrow, together with a cheque towards the hardship fund.

Despite some in the environmental movement who believe that workers in carbon intensive industries are part of the problem, we believe that there needs to be a Just Transition towards a zero-carbon economy. To do this successfully will require a strong Trade Union movement, and a victory for the BA workers would be a victory for the whole movement.


What needs to be done?

Jonathan Neale of the Campaign Against Climate Change explains why Copenhagen failed and the sort of movement we need to build.

A trade union strategy

Chris Baugh of the PCS sets out a strategy for trade unionists to tackle climate change.

Education and climate change

Graham Petersen of the UCU looks at the relationship between the education system and responses to climate change.

Bolivia and climate change

Amancay Colque describes the way in which the Bolivian delegation behaved at the Copenhagen talks and emphasises the importance of the upcoming conference in Cochabamba.

Transport and climate change

 Alex Gordon of the RMT discusses transport policy, the market and the need for democratic planning at the Million Climate Jobs conference.

You can watch the video here.



Million Climate Jobs Conference – final timetable

Download the final timetable and details of how to register for the Conference for a million climate jobs here.

It’s happening on Saturday 13th March in South Camden Community School, Charrington St, London NW1 1RG

Million Climate Jobs Conference – Register Now

Conference For A Million Climate Jobs

Saturday 13th March  2010

South Camden Community School, Charrington St, London NW1 1RG

Download the flyer here.

The conference

ConfMar The failure of politicians to come to an agreement at Copenhagen has meant that the struggle against climate change takes on a new urgency. Here in the UK, the huge demonstration before Christmas shows that millions of people want to see serious action on climate change.

The Campaign Against Climate Change trade union campaign for “One Million Climate Jobs” is going from strength to strength. We have sold thousands of copies of our pamphlet and there is a real sense amongst campaigners far wider than the established trade union movement that this is an important campaign.

The third Campaign Against Climate Change trade union conference takes place against this backdrop. We will be bringing together trade unionists and environmental campaigners to discuss how best we can build a movement that wins both climate and social justice.

Come and discuss with Vestas workers how to win the fight for green jobs. Hear from contributors to the “Million Climate Jobs” pamphlet about how action now could reduce emissions and create jobs. Discuss with leading trade unionists from across the country how we should organise in the coming months to save the planet.

The conference takes place on Saturday 13 March at South Camden Community School, Central London. Organised in a “teach-in” format, there will be plenty of time for delegates to join in the discussions. There will also be break out sessions on Climate Jobs, Organising at Work, the Climate Emergency Demands and The International movement post Copenhagen.

Speakers include

Alex Gordon (RMT), Tony Kearns (CWU), Manuel Cortes (TSSA), Chris Baugh (PCS), Prof. Barbara Harriss-White, Phil Thornhill (CaCC), Jonathan Neale (Million Green Jobs Commission), John Stewart (HACAN), Graham Petersen (UCU), Larry Lohman (Cornerhouse), Ian Terry (former Vestas worker

Admission £10 (£5 concessions)

Make cheques payable to “Campaign Against Climate Change” and send to:

Martin Empson, Treasurer, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group, 611 Canon Green Court, West King Street, Salford M3 7HB