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