At TUC Congress held week commencing the 8th September delegates debated and agreed a motion under the above heading.

The motion laid out a series of positions around the issue of climate change, particularly in stating and agreeing that climate change is a trade union issue. The motion went on to point out that 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 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report.

The issue of climate change and how to respond to it is a multi-faceted subject. The General Secretary has asked that the Senior Deputy General Secretary produce a strategy paper to go before the NEC to agree a wide ranging position for the CWU to play a much larger role both in the debate and campaigning within the Labour and Trade Union movement. In addition such a position will not only set campaigning priorities but will also identify those areas where the issue of climate change is likely to have an impact on the industries we organise in.

Separately to the above the Young Workers Committee and subsequently the NEC have already agreed support for a motion from Labour For a Green New Deal that sets out a series of issues and actions that Government must take to reverse the effects of carbon emissions. Details of that campaign and the motion can be found

Once the approach to developing our position has been set out, we will ensure that those who wish to contribute to the development of our strategy have the opportunity to do so.

In the meantime the motion carried at the TUC called for a number of actions that we will need to consider in developing our own strategy. The most urgent of these concerned the Global School Strike being organised by school students across the world on the 20th September. The TUC is calling for a 30 minute workday campaign action to take place on that day in order to show solidarity with school students as they protest against Government inaction and highlight the real dangers posed by climate change.

The CWU supports this call and asks that Branches encourage Reps and members to support, in whatever way they can, any local events taking place on this day. Helpfully the Campaign against Climate Change has the following link on their website highlighting what events are being planned around the country as well as listing some actions other Unions are taking on the day:

As we develop our position there will be further opportunities for Branches, Reps and members to become involved in campaigning on this issue. As the motion carried at TUC Congress specifically referred to the actions taking place on the 20th September we wanted to highlight that particular day of action, encourage participation in local events but also inform branches of the approach we are adopting to developing a comprehensive policy of engagement and campaigning on this crucial issue.

Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department on telephone number 020 8971 7237, or email address

Yours sincerely,


Tony Kearns

Senior Deputy General Secretary



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