Climate change: model union resolution

Here is the text of a model resolution if you want to get your union branch to support the December 6th climate change demonstration or the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Conference (CCCTU) in March 2009

This branch recognises:

  • That Climate Change is an issue of increasing concern, with the latest scientific evidence showing that the world is warming faster than expected.
  • The changing climate will lead to more flooding, droughts, famine and hurricanes across the globe affecting the poorest in society first and greatest across the globe.
  • Climate Change has become a major issue for Trade Unions, many of whom have supported climate events in the last year, including the Campaign Against Climate Change (CaCC) Trade Union conference, where over 300 delegates heard leading Trade Union figures and MPs commit their unions to campaigning over the issue.
  • This December will see the latest in a series of United Nations discussions about a replacement to the Kyoto Agreement, in Poznan, Poland.

This branch therefore resolves to:
1) Support, publicise and encourage members to attend the CaCC demonstration in London on Saturday December 6th, calling for immediate concrete government action on climate change.

2) Support, publicise and encourage members to attend the second Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Conference (CCCTU) in London on Saturday 7th March 2009.

3) Donate £___ to the organisers towards the cost of the conference.
4) Sponsor the CCCTU conference in the name of this Branch.

5) Send our banner to both events.

Please send cheques, payable to “Campaign Against Climate Change” to

CCC TU conference
PO Box 417
Prestwich
Manchester
M45 0AP
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Medway Trades Council supports Kingsnorth protest

Medway TUC motion on climate change

 

That this Trades Council acknowledges that climate change is a reality. This is based on the weight of scientific evidence that the earths’ temperature is rising – leading the polar ice caps to begin melting, which is causing sea levels to rise. We have also seen widespread de-forestation, which for the most part, has been for the mass rearing of cattle and the growth of cereals for biofuel . This leaves us with an atmospheric imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

 

Car ownership, while providing a convenient way to get around, emits vast amounts of carbon monoxide, which is damaging to the environment. The Trade’s Council calls for public money to be invested into our public transport systems to provide decent, efficient and affordable alternative methods of transport. We recognise the detrimental effect of the burning of fossil fuels on the environment. This Council calls on the government to further expand the investment of public money into the development of wind, wave, solar and other renewable forms of energy.

 

We also support the TUC’s Just Transition policy and believe that any jobs lost as part of the shift towards a low carbon economy should be replaced with ‘green’ jobs, such as within the recycling industry, construction of renewable energy farms and factories, environmentally friendly housing etc. Training should be offered to all workers whose jobs are lost as a result of the reductions in CO2 emissions and where training and re-employment is unavailable, workers should be heavily compensated.

 

Workers support for environmental campaigns is essential. Trade unions should be fully involved in the fight against climate change. Such support can only be achieved by Government and employers, as leaders of industry as well as local and national campaign groups, fully engaging with the trade unions at every level.

 

At this years Annual General Meeting of the Trades council, we passed a motion to support and affiliate to the Campaign Against Climate Change. The CCC are leading a campaign to prevent the expansion of Kingsnorth Power Station, which will not begin to meet the emissions reductions targets needed to halt Climate Change. This council, therefore supports the campaign against the expansion of Kingsnorth.

 

This Trades Council understands the interests of big business leaders in energy, may clash with the need to cut carbon emissions and protect our planet. Therefore, we call for the nationalisation of the energy companies and for them to be democratically managed by the workers in the industry.

 

The factors contributing to climate change are the culmination of long-term free market policies. Workers should not foot the bill of climate change. Capitalisms’ drive to maximise profits for an elite has and is neglecting the needs of the environment. Although individual measures can be taken to treat specific symptoms, the nature of capitalism means that it cannot fully, in the long term, stop climate change. The issue of environmental sustainability is tied up in virtually all aspects of production. An integrated energy policy must be part of an overall economic plan. Only true democratic, socialist planning, without the drive for profit, can adequately meet the needs of workers and the environment for generations to come.

 

Proposed: Medway TUC executive committee

 

Seconded: Carried YES/NO

Lecturers’ Union UCU will press colleges and universities to do more on climate change

The University and College Union (UCU) will press UK colleges and universities to do more to prevent damaging climate change.

At its recent annual Congress, UCU union delegates called for all branches of the union – the UK’s tenth biggest – to elect environment reps and to engage with employers to develop sustainable work practices, including carbon reduction strategies, in universities and colleges.

At a well attended environment fringe meeting, members heard Dr Jonathan Neale, National Secretary, Campaign against Climate Change, explained the case for stepping up trade union work on climate related issues. 

Also speaking at the fringe meeting  was Caroline Molloy of the TUC’s Green Workplaces project, who reported  on  carbon reduction progress in  a number of UK workplaces and explained how trades unionists can play a major environmental role in greening workplaces

The congress supported a call for colleges and universities to develop green transport plans and ensure that public transport options are available for staff and students.  Delegates agreed that climate change should not be used by employers as an excuse for worsening conditions of work, such as increasing car parking fees, particularly when acceptable alternative transport options are not provided.

UCU members voted to press their own union to allocate more resources to work on ‘greening’ the campus, the curriculum and UCU.

However, there is concern that some college and university employers are reluctant to work collectively with staff and student representatives to develop carbon reduction plans, despite the institutions’ apparently green credentials.

UCU adopted a sustainability policy a year ago at its first Congress. It has since established a network of college and university staff who want to work on greening their institution. The union supports TUC efforts to promote sustainable practices and is lobbying the government to give union environment reps the same status as health and safety reps, with time to train so they can make the maximum contribution to local green plans.

The union is building bridges with other campaigners and has established a good relationship with student environment and justice organisation People and Planet .   UCU is sending ten reps to the trade union climate change conference on June 16.

ends

notes

1) Dr Jonathan Neale is  senior lecturer in Creative Writing at  Bath Spa Univerity, and a UCU member. He is currently National Secretary, Campaign against Climate Change, and was international secretary 2004-2007. He spoke on climate change at the World Social Forum, around Britain and in many countries, as part of the organision of global demonstrations against climate change – which last year happened in 75 countries.

He is the author of many plays and novels for children and nonfiction for adults.

His Latest book, ‘Stop Global Warming – Change the World’ will be published in September.

2) see latest news of UCU’s green work in attached newsletter

3) UCU’s policies passed at the 2008 congress

96 – Environmental representatives  North West Regional Committee
Congress recognises that staff in Higher and Further Education have a special responsibility in dealing with climate change. They teach the young people who will be tomorrow’s leaders, and who will experience the effects of climate change. They research into the issue, and their research will be affected by it in many subject areas. However, they also work in large built environments which utilise great amounts of energy and produce high volumes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the increasing mobility of academic staff and students is constantly adding to the carbon footprint of HE and FE institutions.

Congress therefore urges all Branches of UCU, as well as Regions, to elect Environmental Representatives. Their responsibility will be to seek to engage in carbon dioxide reduction negotiations with employers, and help to develop sustainable work practices in universities and colleges that also protect terms and conditions as far as possible.

CARRIED

97 – Climate Change  National Executive Committee

Congress welcomes the adoption by the UCU of the AoC ‘Green Colleges’ document and resolves to pursue further its current policy on climate change through ‘Green Transport Plans’, (See e.g. http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/B897.pdf) agreed with employers. In particular, Congress insists that it is the employers’ duty to ensure that timely and appropriate public transport is available to employees. ‘Climate Change’ must not be used as an excuse for worsening conditions of work, such as increasing car parking fees, particularly when acceptable alternatives are not provided. Congress further resolves to support the development of environmental reps as an integral part of UCU’s workplace activity.

CARRIED

98 – Environment  South Thames College

Further to policy adopted at UCU Congress 2007 on the environment and climate change, this Congress:

  • notes the increasing number of reports which highlight the importance of reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change
  • congratulates UCU for developing a network of support and information on environmental issues
  • urges UCU to prioritise resources as necessary to increase its work on ‘greening’ the campus, the curriculum and UCU.

In particular to:

  • press for the adoption of an environment policy in all parts of the HE and FE sectors. These to be subject to consultation and to include an environment audit and targets to reduce energy consumption
  • promote training courses for green reps
  • convene a one day conference to assess and promote workplace initiatives.

CARRIED

Model Motion in support of the Campaign against Climate Change (CCC)

This model resolution can be amended for your own organisation.
This meeting notes:

1) That the level of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is up one third on that of pre-industrial times: a level higher than it has been for at least 400 000 years.

2) The evidence that human activity is changing the climate is now overwhelming. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that future greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase average global temperatures by between 2 C and 6.5 C this century.

3) That continued global warming threatens to undermine or even reverse human Progress, as flooding, drought, disease and ecological disruption increasingly affects the world’s population. The IPCC notes that the poorest countries will be by far the worst affected by climate change. Ultimately ‘run-away’ climate change threatens a global catastrophe of unimaginable scale.

4) The contradiction between the Government’s stated aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and its practice of expanding roads and airports.

5) The devastating impact a proposed third runway at Heathrow Airport would have on local communities as a consequence of increases in air and noise pollution, and on climate change as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases.

This meeting therefore demands that the UK government immediately scraps all plans to build a third runway at Heathrow airport.

This meeting agrees to:

1) Affiliate to the Campaign against Climate Change (Affiliation fees: National Unions £250 per annum; Districts and Regions £100 per annum; local branches £25 per annum), and help its work with a further donation of £… (cheques payable to Campaign against Climate Change should be sent to Campaign against Climate Change , Top Floor, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX)

2) Send a delegation and banner to the National Demonstration against the third runway at Heathrow at 12 noon on Saturday 31st May 2008.

Aims and Objectives Statement of the Campaign against Climate Change

The Campaign against Climate Change exists to push for the urgent and radical action we need to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate. The destabilisation of global climate has become the very greatest threat to our planet and everyone on it – with the possible exception only of all-out war with modern weapons of mass-destruction. We do not know how much irreversible damage we have done already but we know that if we do not act now the effects will be many times more devastating still.

1/ The CCC exists to secure the action we need – at a local, national and, above all, international level – to minimise harmful climate change and the devastating impacts it will have. To that end the CCC seeks to raise awareness about the gravity and urgency of the threat from climate change and to influence those with the greatest power to take effective action to do so with the utmost speed and resolution. Where ignorance, short term greed and vested interests stand in the way of the action that is urgently needed, the CCC exists to fight against all of these things.

2/ In particular the CCC brings people together to create a mass movement to push for our goals, including street demonstrations & other approaches.

3/ The CCC seeks a global solution to a global problem
and aims to push for an international emissions reductions treaty that is both effective in preventing the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate and equitable in the means of so doing. To be effective such a treaty needs to secure such reductions in the global total of greenhouse gas emissions as are deemed by the broad consensus of qualified scientific opinion to be necessary to prevent harmful climate change. The CCC aims to campaign against those with the greatest responsibility for preventing or delaying the progress we urgently need towards an international climate treaty.

4/ The CCC recognises that the issue of the destabilisation of global climate has enormous implications in terms of social justice and global inequality. The damage to the earth’s atmosphere has so far been done mainly by the rich nations but it is the poorest who will suffer the greatest and most immediately. The CCC recognises that any solution to the problem must be as fair as possible, incorporating principles of social justice and not exacerbating global and local inequalities

5/ The CCC aims to bring together as many people as possible who support our broad aims of pushing for urgent action on climate and reducing global emissions. The CCC does not therefore campaign on the important but more detailed questions of how best to achieve these emission reductions and recognises that supporters will have different and deeply held views on these issues.