London meeting 20 June: How can the trade unions build a general strike for climate?

How can the trade unions build a general strike for climate?

  • 6.30pm Thursday 20 June in room S312, Paul Webley wing, SOAS Senate House building WC1E 7HX.
  • Facebook event here

The school student strikes have been inspiring and have shifted the debate on climate change. Now students are calling for adults to join them.

A call has gone out for the a general strike for the climate in September. It is crucial that trade unions respond to this call, and that we put working class people at the centre of the movement for climate justice.

This meeting is hosted by the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group and has been called to discuss how unions can mobilise for the general strike for climate in September and for action on climate change. We will be hearing from school strike activists and activists from across the trade union movement. All welcome.

Hosted by the Campaign Against Climate Change trade union group

Reel News invitation to online flim premiere: “American Climate Rebels” starts on April 14

JOIN US FOR A LIVE INTERACTIVE PREMIERE OF EPISODE 1 ON APRIL 14TH – LIVE CHAT DURING THE PREMIERE WITH REEL NEWS, PLUS IAN HUSSEY AND ANGELE ALOOK FROM THE PARKLANDS INSTITUTE, ALBERTA. TO SET A REMINDER, OPEN THIS LINK TO THE “WATCH SCREEN” IN YOUTUBE: 

https://youtu.be/VWxNDvJYC1M

PRESS “SUBSCRIBE” (IF YOU’RE NOT SUBSCRIBED TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL ALREADY) AND THEN PRESS THE BELL.

Click here to watch official trailer

In 2018, Reel News went on a 14 week tour of North America to look at grassroots struggles around climate change, particularly struggles around a “just transition” from fossil fuels to renewable energy, where workers and communities control the process so that they benefit from the transition, and around “just recovery” – recovery from extreme weather events which do not exascerbate current inequalities.

What we found were inspiring and visionary struggles all over the continent, led by working class communities of colour, with people organising just transitions and just recoveries themselves. Now, we’ll be presenting what we found in the form of a weekly online 11 episode series starting on Sunday April 14th – 7pm UK time, 3pm New York City time, Midday California time.

Episode 1 is about Alberta, Canada, where the long oil sands boom  has come to an end. Falling oil prices are leading to thousands of job losses – which has started a serious conversation in the labour movement about transitioning away from oil to renewables. The need is becoming more urgent as the big oil sands companies look to maximise profits and slash even more jobs through automation. This film looks at a number of initiatives, the history of oppression of First Nations people to get the resources in the first place, and a rare chance to hear from oil sands workers themselves, including women and First Nations workers.

With the current growing uprising over climate change giving renewed hope, we’re hoping that this will not only inspire you further – but will also help a little in putting the idea of just transition at the forefront of the movement.

Respond to the waste plan

Please add your name, below, in support of our response to the draft North London Waste Plan (NLWP). We’re calling for Pinkham Way to be removed.

This submission is the culmination of 8 years of work and your activism.

It documents in detail the disgraceful disregard that’s been shown for evidence and planning process, and for us as residents.

The councils and waste authority ignore our evidenced arguments, but soon we’ll have the attention of an independent Planning Inspector.

Make sure all you’ve done so far is followed through with maximum impact. Add your name, and, if you haven’t already, please help us pay for professional consultants.

Please sign by midnight on Wednesday 10 April. Every adult (18+) in your household can sign individually.

Your name will count as your submission to the NLWP; please do not make any additional individual submission. You can read an overview of our submission to the NLWP.

 

Co-Operative Party – Community Energy: Repowering London

Barnet Co-op Party Branch Meeting

Next Meeting 5th December 2018 at 8pm

Chipping Barnet Labour Party Offices, 104 East Barnet Road, EN4 8RE

Barnet Co-operative Party is hosting a talk by community energy specialist Dr Afsheen Rashid. Afsheen is the CEO of Repowering London . A former Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Energy and Climate Change and current Chair of Community Energy England, Afsheen is a leading figure in the field of community energy generation and was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours List for her work in renewable energy in deprived London communities. In her talk, Dr Raschid will talk about the community-owned solar energy project on the Banister House Estate in Hackney.

Banister House Solar

Banister House Solar is the first community owned solar energy project in Hackney as well as the UK’s largest community energy project on social housing. Hackney Council commissioned Repowering London to develop this project in January 2014. Repowering London has worked to develop this project alongside residents of the Banister House Estate and local energy advocacy group Hackney Energy. The project development has been funded and supported by Hackney Council.

On the 3rd of October 2015 Banister House Solar went live, generating renewable, community-owned electricity for the Banister House Estate and its residents.

Key Achievements 

Social

  • The co-operative was established with 4 local directors from Banister House Estate.
  • 25 local young people were engaged in the 30 week paid internship programme.
  • 6 local young people benefitted from paid work experience installing solar panels on their estate. 

Environmental

  • In total 102 kWp of solar array has been installed on the estate.
  • Over the project’s 20-year lifetime, 679 tonnes of CO2 will be prevented from entering the atmosphere.
  • Since it went live, Banister House Solar has generated 92,385 kWh of clean renewable electricity (November 2016). This is roughly equivalent to the electricity usage of 38 average Banister flats for a full year.
  • This means that Banister House Solar has saved around 42 tonnes of C02 from entering the atmosphere since its launch.

Financial 

  • £149,000 of capital funds were raised through a community share offer to fund the project

£20,000 will be generated for the Community Fund. The following areas were selected by the community to benefit from the fund:

  • Energy efficiency measures for the Banister House homes
  • Opportunities for young people living in Banister House
  • Community activities on the estate 
  • Hackney Council will benefit from a potential savings of £20,000 in energy costs over the lifetime of the project 

Protest: Together for Climate Justice

Join us on 1st December in London

12 noon, Portland Place.

Click here to join on Facebook and invite your friends

The recent IPCC report is a landmark for our planet, setting out just what is at stake if we breach 1.5C warming.

For many years 2C was talked of as a ‘safe’ limit. It was only by the tireless work of those countries most at risk from climate change that 1.5C made it into the Paris agreement at all. But now it is clear that 2C is ‘safe’ for no one. It’s also clear that we’re on track to overshoot it. Nations’ inadequate plans to tackle climate change would see us reaching 3C or 4C within the lifetime of today’s children.

Heatwaves and hurricanes make it clear: it’s time to act on climate change. The Paris agreement was a starting point but we have a long way to go, and it’s not just Trump who won’t quit fossil fuels. From fracking to a Heathrow third runway, the UK is stalling on climate action.

This December in Poland, countries will negotiate the crucial next steps to keep the Paris climate deal on the rails. It’s urgent.

But we know we can’t depend on governments to represent us at UN talks infiltrated by fossil fuel interests. We need to hear the voices of those in the front line of climate change, those whose land and water is threatened by fossil fuel industry pollution, and those fighting for climate jobs. We need solidarity from all parts of society, as we saw in the unprecedented mobilisation against Trump’s UK visit this summer. The government of Poland wants to suppress the voice of civil society, but we will speak out and send a clear message to our own government to act on climate now.

Speakers (more to be announced soon)

Clive Lewis MP, Labour Party

Sian Berry, co-leader, Green Party

Richard Roberts, fracking direct action campaigner whose recent prison sentence was overturned

Paul Allen, Zero Carbon Britain

Brazilian Women Against Fascism

Nita Sanghera, Vice President, UCU

Can you help?

Flyers now available – email info@campaigncc.org

We need volunteer stewards on the day! Sign up here

Timetable

Plan for the day (note changes sometimes need to be made for practical reasons nearer the time)

Assemble from 12pm near the Polish Embassy on Portland Place.

Rally with speeches 12.30-1.30.

March to Downing Street, where the Frack Free United open letter / declaration against fracking will be handed in.

At around 2.30 there will be two or three brief closing speeches, wrap up by 3pm

Date: Saturday, December 1, 2018 – 12:00 to 16:00

CND Trade Unions: Trident and Jobs

Trident’s replacement will cost at least £205 billion of public money. A staggering figure, particularly when we consider the nuclear weapons system has no real military value and is useless in the face of the real threats we face today, such as terrorism, climate change and cyber-attacks and could be rendered obsolete by new technology. But many try to argue that this investment is worth it because of the jobs the nuclear weapon system sustains.

People’s livelihoods matter. But an objective appraisal of the jobs associated with Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system, and its replacement will demonstrate that these are among the most costly jobs ever created. By simply re-directing a proportion of the money allocated to the Trident replacement programme to other industries, it would be possible to create many more, highly specialised and well-paid jobs. This transition programme would directly benefit those currently working on Britain’s nuclear weapons. Society as a whole would benefit from the shift to more productive jobs. And of course, humanity as a whole would benefit from the reduction in the numbers of weapons of mass destruction.

 

Read report here: Trident-and-Jobs

WHY WORKERS SHOULD OPPOSE FRACKING

Trade unionists have always taken a position on the major moral and political questions of the day. We should oppose fracking because:

  1. Fracking worsens Climate Change: ‘Fracking’ is the extraction of natural gas (or oil) by injecting fluid at high pressure to fracture rock. Like all fossil fuels, this gas produces carbon dioxide (CO2) when burnt. CO2 is the single biggest contributing gas to global warming, which is threatening catastrophic climate change. Fracking has been suggested as a ‘cleaner’ alternative to coal, but recent studies on methane gas leaking from wells contradict this. Methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.
  2. Fracking won’t create large numbers of permanent jobs: The jobs are likely to be short‑term specialised jobs, filled by existing staff already employed by the company rather than local jobs.Numbers are also over‑hyped.
  3. A report from Friends of the Earth, supported by the PCS trade union and North West trades councils, argued that a claim by gas company Cuadrilla that fracking would bring 1,700 jobs to the area was misleading as most would last for just one year. Fracking could lead to job losses in agriculture and tourism.
  4. Alternative energy strategies create more and longer lasting jobs: The Friends of the Earth report concluded “Renewable energy and energy efficiency… create over six times as many jobs as gas per unit of power generated or saved and around three times as many jobs for the same amount invested.”.
  5. Fracking will have a major impact on communities: A planning application for one well in North Yorkshire said drilling would create over 1,400 vehicle trips. This is disruptive, polluting and dangerous. Other impacts include an increase in earthquake risk, the disfiguring of local landscapes and reduced value of houses. The rich might be able to move, but it is much harder for workers and the poor to escape.
  6. Fracking can damage health: Fracking has been accompanied by claims of extensive local pollution to air, land and water sources. New York’s government banned fracking because it concluded fracking posed too great a risk to health. Over 500 academic papers warn of the risk to health from fracking.

Climate jobs—the alternative
Climate change is recognised by trade unions globally as an issue of social justice affecting poor
communities around the world.The One Million Climate Jobs report proposes a ‘National Climate Service’  to create public‑sector jobs in industries that reduce carbon emissions. Seven national trade unions and many union branches have signed up to this as an alternative that can create decent, well paid, safe jobs that tackle environmental destruction. Fracking is opposed by the NUT, PCS, BFAWU, EIS, TSSA and UCU unions. Fracking has been banned in Scotland, Ireland, Bulgaria and France and there are moratoriums in many other places including Wales, Netherlands and Germany.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Trade unionists have joined environmental activists and residents to oppose fracking because working class people should not be forced to work in the dirty, dangerous and unsustainable fossil fuel industry or suffer its effects in their communities. The alternative to unemployment, low pay and climate change is not fracking, but government investment in clean energy jobs. We encourage all workers to join an appropriate trade union www.tuc.org.uk/join-union If you are in a union, take our model motion to your union branch and local trades council. Join your local anti-fracking campaign. Join the Campaign Against Climate Change.

The Campaign against Climate Change brings people together to push for the urgent and resolute
action we need to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate.
Campaign Against
Climate Change
020 7833 9311
info@campaigncc.org
www.cacctu.org.uk
1 2 3