Jobs and a safe climate - report from TUC fringe meeting

The TUC conference this year was uplifting for those who have long argued that trade unions should take the lead on climate change.

An ambitious motion from the Bakers' Union, passed unanimously, brought trade unions much closer to the vision on energy and industrial strategy set out in Labour's election manifesto. A dozen delegates, from unions including CWU, FBU, Prospect, Unison, USDAW, RMT, PCS, Unite and TSSA took to the rostrum, urging the TUC to campaign for the UK's rigged energy system to return to democratic control, and to work with unions on a cross-sector industrial strategy to tackle 'the irrefutable evidence that dangerous climate change is driving unprecedented changes to our environment.' Full motion here.

The Campaign against Climate Change trade union group pulled off perhaps the best ever green fringe meeting in Brighton: Another world is possible: jobs and a safe climate

Unions spoke passionately about how they saw their union, and the labour movement, can provide the leadership so lacking in government. And the Campaign against Climate Change chair, Suzanne Jeffrey, set out plans for a national conference on Climate and Jobs - another world is possible on 10 March 2018 (note date in your diary!). She said the renewed TUC commitment to tackle climate change provided an opportunity for progressive new policies for the labour movement.

TUC passes motion calling for climate action and energy democracy

The following motion has just been passed by TUC Congress.

Thanks to the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union who moved the motion and CWU, FBU, ASLEF and TSSA who submittted amendments.

Congress notes the irrefutable evidence that dangerous climate change is driving unprecedented changes to our environment such as the devastating flooding witnessed in the UK in 2004.

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.