Confronting the Climate Crisis - A Conference Bringing Together Climate Scientists, Trade Unionists and Environmental Activists

Confronting the Climate Crisis - A Conference Bringing Together Climate Scientists, Trade Unionists and Environmental Activists
8th June 2013


11am Opening address - Sue Ferns (Director of Communications and Research, Prospect/ Co-chair of Trade Unions Sustainable Development Advisory Committee) for TUC

11.20 Opening plenary: How serious is the climate crisis and how could it affect us? A briefing for trade unionists

Prof Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

12.20 Workshops 1

1.      The melting Arctic: what will it mean? Speaker: Dr Michel Tsamados (Research Associate, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Reading University)

2.      Weird weather: is this the new normal? Speakers: Dr Richard Allan (Reader in Climate Science, University of Reading), Dave Green (Fire Brigades Union national officer for floods)

3.      Climate change: the threat to agriculture and food supply: Speakers: Kirtana Chandrasekaran (Food Sovereignty Programme Co-ordinator, Friends of the Earth International), Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, CACCTU)

1.20 Lunch

2.00 Second Plenary: Fighting climate change and for climate jobs, internationally & locally

Andreas Ytterstad (Union of Concerned Scientists, Norway), Dr Lara Skinner (Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, USA), Martin Empson (Million Climate Jobs Campaign), Ewa Jasiewicz (No Dash for Gas). Speakers from South African Trade Unions and Canadian indigenous movement linked through Skype.

3.00 Workshops 2

1.      Fighting for climate jobs in the unions - Speaker: Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary, PCS)

2.      Uniting trade unions with community campaigns - Speakers: Graham Petersen (UCU national environment co-ordinator/ Greener Jobs Alliance), Peter Robinson (Jobs and Climate Alliance), Jane Thomas (Senior England Campaigner, Friends of the Earth)

3.      Changing the Government’s climate  policy - Speakers: Joan Walley MP (Chair, House of Commons Environmental Scrutiny Committee), John McDonnell MP, Philip Pearson (TUC Senior Policy Officer for Climate Change and Energy)

4.00 Closing Plenary: Countering austerity - the fight for climate jobs(“Question Time” panel format)

Confirmed panellists: Manuel Cortez (General Secretary, TSSA), Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary PCS), Martin Mayer (National Executive, Unite), Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, CACCTU), Jonathan Stevenson (Fuel Poverty Action), Joan Walley MP, Will Duckworth (Deputy Leader, Green Party)

2012 brought more and more news of a worsening climate. From droughts in the United States and Australia, to heavy rains and flooding, crop failures across the globe and an almost complete collapse of summer sea ice in the Arctic. At the same time governments are back tracking on commitments to deal with carbon emissions and the mitigation of the effects of global warming.

At the same time, governments are dealing with the global economic crisis with further austerity, leading to unemployment, cuts in public services and further attacks on working people.

The Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group has published two reports on the potential for "One Million Climate Jobs" to deal both with unemployment and to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. This, our fourth conference, will explore how we can continue to fight for these jobs in an era of austerity. But it will also be an opportunity for trade unions to listen to climate scientists and understand what is happening to our weather and our environment.

Speakers include: Professor Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director of the Tynedale Centre for Climate Change Research; Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA; Chris Baugh, Deputy General Secretary, PCS; Suzanne Jeffrey, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group; Andreas Ytterstad, Union of Concerned Scientists (Norway) and author of Norwegian Climate Jobs report; Dr Michel Tsamados, Research Associate, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Reading University (personal capacity)

Conference hosted by London Metropolitan University UCU and Climate Action Group, supported by CWU, FBU, PCS, UNITE, TSSA, UCU