[2019] Composite 02 Climate crisis and a just transition

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from: , , , , ,

Motion 5, and 7 and amendments

Congress notes the recommendation by the Committee on Climate Change that the UK move to a net zero target for emissions by 2050 and the UK parliament’s declaration of an environmental and climate emergency following a motion tabled by Jeremy Corbyn. The Earth’s temperature has already risen by one degree above pre-industrial levels. The autumn IPCC report warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. Net zero cannot be achieved without urgent investment in new, low-carbon energy generation Congress believes climate change is a trade union issue. The future of our planet is at risk if we don’t organise now to force governments to cut emissions in line with the IPCC report.

Congress welcomes Jeremy Corbyn’s acknowledgement that it cannot be
workers and communities that pay the price for changes to the energy system
and commitment that the next Labour government “will guarantee that all energy workers are offered retraining, a new job on equivalent terms and conditions, covered by collective agreements and fully supported in their housing and income needs through transition”. The challenges of just transition will have greatest impact in regions and localities without equivalent employment opportunities.

Congress commends trade unions for the work they have done in promoting and developing an understanding of what a ‘just transition’ means, including the views of workers in the industries affected.

A just transition means:
i. a balanced low-carbon energy mix
ii. investment in skills and infrastructure
iii. education and training must be reviewed to ensure young people and workers are equipped to live and work in a just transition towards a sustainable future iv. protecting and creating high-quality jobs and employment
v. no community left behind
vi. unions must be at the heart of a reinvigorated industrial strategy.

Congress welcomes the principles developed in the TUC’s statement on a just
transition published in July 2019, namely:
a. A clear and funded path to a low-carbon economy, taxing the very wealthy and closing tax loopholes in line with Labour Party manifesto commitments.
b. Workers must be at the heart of delivering these plans.
c. Every worker should have access to funding to improve their skills.
d. New jobs must be good jobs.

Congress calls on the General Council to put these at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis and moving to a greener, fairer economy.

We must keep the pressure up. Greta Thunberg and the school students have led the way but educators and the trade union movement as a whole must now act to ensure that they don’t fight alone.

Congress resolves:
1. that the TUC calls for a 30-minute workday campaign action to coincide with the global school strike on 20 September.
2. to campaign for national and regional Just Transition Commissions including
full union and education representation to develop, monitor and implement
the process.

Mover: Unite
Seconder: University and College Union
Supporters: National Education Union, Prospect, ASLEF, Artists’ Union England