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New research shows trade unions getting to grips with climate change

Despite being faced with many immediate battles to fight, it is to the credit of many trade unions that they are also addressing the long term wellbeing of their members, and of future generations, by introducing policies to tackle climate change. A new report providing the first ever overview of the climate change policies of 17 major UK trade unions could help raise wider awareness of this important work.

The author, Catherine Hookes, is studying for a masters degree at Lund University, Sweden, and her research drew on a comprehensive web review of policies in these unions, going into more depth for many of the unions, interviewing key figures and activists. The research was facilitated by the Campaign against Climate Change.

For anyone within the trade union movement concerned about climate change (or for campaigners wishing to engage with trade unions on these issues) this report is of practical use in understanding the context, the diversity of different trade unions' approaches, and the progress that has been made in the campaign for a just transition to a low carbon economy.

Report from Fracking Solidarity Day

From Reclaim the Power's "Rolling Resistance Weekly Round-Up: Week 2" (link here):

"A mass demo for climate, jobs, renewables and divestment! The day started with a two car lock on, which kept the gates shut until the crowds arrived. An estimated 200 people came down to the roadside today – many for the first time.  We celebrated the resistance so far and heard from a range of speakers about the solutions we need to see and the wider politics of climate justice, and economic and social justice – of which the anti-fracking movement is part."

"Many trade unions were represented including PCS, Unite, Unison, the NUT and UCU and their speakers emphasised how the Trade Unions would keep supporting the fight against fracking. Strength in numbers meant our mere presence shut Cuadrilla’s site down for the day. It felt like a carnival, with singing, delicious food and even some disco yoga and this very positive and powerful day ended with people linking arms in front of the gate."

UNISON unanimously votes for divestment of pension funds

The trade union UNISON has unanimously voted to pass a motion to divest council pension funds from oil, coal and gas. UNISON is one of the two biggest trade union groups in the UK, with over 1.3 million members, and is also the primary representative for local government workers, whose pension funds are collectively worth over £200 billion.

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