Category Archives: Green
Barnet Co-op Party Branch Meeting
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- £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
12 noon, Portland Place.
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?
We need volunteer stewards on the day! Sign up here
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”.
- 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.
- 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.
It’s time for a Just Transition in the UK, moving to a modern low carbon economy in such a way as to protect workers’ livelihoods, create new industries and deliver a fairer society in all regions and devolved nations. The need for action to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change Agreement to keep global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, is urgent if we are to avert the environmental and economic costs of climate change.
We share a concern that the Government’s Industrial and Clean Growth strategies fail to reference the need for a Just Transition. This embodies the principles of consultation between all sections of society; investment in skills and jobs; the creation of decent work; and social protection for individuals and communities, particularly those reliant on fossil fuels. It is necessary to confront the danger facing our industries and power system as employment in traditional sectors declines. Workers, if losing their job in these sectors, should be able to retrain and redeploy to a new job on equivalent terms and conditions, covered by collective agreements, and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition.
Government must take a decisive lead with plans to transform key sectors, through publicly and community owned energy supply, transport infrastructure, investing in energy efficiency and sustainable heating in our homes and in industry. The speed and scale of Government action must be increased, as advised by the Committee on Climate Change. Where necessary to secure change at sufficient pace and scale, options for public and community ownership or partial stakes in flagship energy projects and enterprises should be pursued.
Employment and social benefits for communities most affected by industrial change should be secured through local investment in new jobs and skills, the creation of local supply chains, and ‘community benefit’ clauses in public contracts and local ownership. The principles of social justice and equity must be adopted to ensure no-one is left behind in the transition to economic and environmental sustainability.
Meanwhile, internationally, the government should support the strengthening of workers’ rights and environmental standards in the global supply chains for low carbon industries, such as solar panel and battery production.
We believe that all key stakeholders should be represented on consultation and implementation bodies linked to the industrial, skills and climate change strategies. This should include proposed industrial and sector bodies at national, regional and local levels
We therefore call on the UK government to:
- incorpo rate Just Transition principles within the UK’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement, including the UK’s Industrial and Clean Growth strategies.
- legislate for the right to appoint workplace environment representatives to help ensure workers’ views are fairly represented at local level. At company and sector level unions need the right to a voice in the economic restructuring decisions that will take place.
- establish a Just Transition Commission to develop a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead, along the lines of the welcome initiative of the Scottish Government to establish such a body.
sponsoring organisations so far which include NEU. PCS AND NUS
The conference to mark 40 years since the Lucas Plan, in which rank and file workers put together a revolutionary programme for repurposing weapons technology for progressive purposes to both save jobs and help society, has had a superb follow up. A an excerpt is here:
So What Happened to Our Conference Motion 16 The “Lucas Plan”, Arms Conversion and
Socially Useful Production? 1st TUCJCC renamed it Defence, Jobs and Diversification then sent it to TUC Congress 2nd It was accepted onto agenda and heard on Tuesday 12th September PM.
The motion is now the property of the General Council and has been referred to the TUC Economic and Social Department for Action. Their first action will be to consult with those Unions directly affected-we’ll keep you updated with any progression.
In the Meantime?
TUCJCC wanted you to know what had happened with your motion, particularly with the announcement of further job losses in BAE and the potential for further announcements of job losses from supply industries across the UK. They would specifically like you too
- Those Trades Union councils covering the area of the BAE job losses already announced to contact the Unions involved and ask how they (and we) could help (if not already involved).
- The TUCJCC regional representatives will raise within their own Regional Executives the wider issue of potential job loss within the wider supply chain industries.
- Discuss the motion within your own Trades Union Councils and consider how your
affiliate could encourage both the TUC and Labour Party to act on it.
The for a link to the full motion and repot: So What Happened to Our Conference Motion 16-final copy (002)
Tackling the climate crisis needs workers to build a world fit for the future. Yet the narrative of ‘jobs versus environment’ is still heard across the political spectrum, derailing the action we urgently need.
This conference, organised by the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group, aims to challenge the false choice of good jobs versus the environment. Instead of settling for this, there is both an urgent need for action on climate change and a real opportunity for trade unionists to be at the forefront of campaigning for a transition. One which puts the needs of the planet, decent jobs and social justice at the top of the political agenda.
The conference, for trade unionists and others interested in the issues, will be an opportunity to hear from trade unionists, scientists, environmental activists and others about the issues; and to learn from grassroots action today as well as debating a vision for the future.
Climate Change: What’s happening to our climate and why this is an issue
One Million Climate Jobs: Planning for a national Climate Service
Climate Refugees: Campaigning within the trade unions
Just Transition: Challenging the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy
A New Lucas Plan: Popular Planning for Social Need
Jobs and Climate: Debates in the movement
Food and agriculture: Planning for a healthy sustainable future
Women and Climate: In the frontline
Workplace Environmental Reps: Organising in the workplace
Workshops will also be led by key trade union and environmental campaigns: The Greener Jobs Alliance, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and The Lucas Plan.
More details below and full programme on https://www.cacctu.org.uk/jobs_and_climate
Book tickets now through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jobs-climate-planning-for-a-future-that-doesnt-cost-the-earth-tickets-41316618117
Find out more about the work of the Campaign against Climate Change trade union group https://www.cacctu.org.uk/ – if you’ve got any questions, please get in touch or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jobs and climate: planning for a future which doesn’t cost the earth
10 March 10-5pm, Hamilton House, London WCH 9BD
Two Plenary Sessions: 1. Jobs versus the Environment, challenging a false choice. 2. Planning for a just transition – a future which doesn’t cost the earth
Barry Gardiner MP – Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade and Shadow Minister for International Climate Change, Chris Baugh – Dep Gen Sec PCS, Sarah Woolley – BFAWU, Liz Hutchins – FOE, Professor Joanna Haigh – Grantham Institute, Suzanne Jeffery – Chair, CACC, Asad Rehman – Executive Director War on Want, Caroline Russell – Green Party London Assembly Member, Mika Minio-Paluello – Platform, Wilf Sullivan – Race Equality Officer TUC, Tahir Latif – PCS, Allison Roche – Unison, Duncan Law – Biofuelwatch, Kim Hunter – Frack Free Scarborough, Tina Louise Rothery – Lancashire Anti-Fracking Nanas, Graham Petersen – Greener Jobs Alliance, Sam Mason – PCS, Jonathan Neale – Global Climate Jobs, Dave King – New Lucas Plan Group, Lauren Jones – Sheffield Climate Alliance, Paul Allen – Centre for Alternative Technology, Sarah Pearce – Unison