Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 34 – September/October 2021
The Greener Jobs Alliance was launched to promote skills training and job creation to meet the needs of Britain’s rapidly growing low carbon sectors and to green the whole economy. The transition to a low carbon and resource efficient economy can drive sustainable economic recovery and job creation in every part of the country as well as making existing jobs more secure. But this requires a more strategic national and local approach to deliver the workforce skills needed and to stimulate demand for clean energy and energy efficiency services.
The Greener Jobs Alliance liaises at a national and local level to build the broadest possible support for the policies, investment, partnerships and commitments needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.
The Greener Jobs Alliance liaises with training bodies, colleges, universities, employers, local and national Government, trade unions, housing associations, campaign and community groups – to build the policies, investment and partnerships needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.
The GJA runs a number of ‘free’ courses on the environment for Trade Union Reps in different parts of the UK which have been attended by a number of CWU Reps. See details below.
The GJA came into existence as a result of funding from Battersea and Wandsworth TUC.
The founder GJA Secretary and Newsletter editor was Graham Petersen who is well known to the CWU and has a long standing working relationship with the Union. He is a former TUC tutor and course designer who created safety reps training courses and the successful TUC Occupational Health & Safety Diploma Course. He was the head of the Trade Union Studies Centre at South Thames College before retirement from the post and has been a visitor and guest speaker at CWU events and meetings. After 30 editions, Graham stood down at the GJA AGM on 2 February and has handed over to Paul Atkin as newsletter editor and Tahir Latif as GJA Secretary. Graham remains a GJA Steering Group member and is now working part time for the Wales TUC having recently written a publication for them ‘Greener workplaces for a just transition – a Wales TUC toolkit for trade unionists’.
See attached copy of the GJA Newsletter No.34 for September/October 2021.
In this Newsletter the GJA editor is calling on the UK Government to put its money where its mouth is after a summer of wildly turbulent weather. Concerns have doubled regarding climate breakdown being a serious issue, and it is now second only to dealing with COVID in the front of people’s minds. As real climate impacts multiply, so will the concern. This isn’t going away. And the COP (UN Climate Change Conference 31 Oct – 12 Nov in Glasgow) won’t put a lid on it. This decade requires urgent action, which will require and generate increasingly urgent activism. Decisions on the Cambo Oil field and Cumbria coal mine have been postponed until after the COP. This does not bode well, as if they were going to block them, they would want to boast about it there.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Climate Change) Report 2021 was a wake-up call that Conservative back benchers – and the Treasury – want to put on the back burner. Their problem is that the argument that we “can’t afford” to save ourselves from climate breakdown presumes that we can somehow afford not to. That the price of inaction is not social breakdown. The Government strategy for Net Zero 2050 is due out later this month prior to the COP and will be examined closely, not least to compare the claims to world leadership to the actual level of investment committed and the solidity of the plans. So far they have been long on aspirations and short on investment. Part of the problem is their view that the transition has to be driven by the private sector; which, at most, might be nudged or ‘persuaded’ to invest. Waiting for this could be like waiting for Godot. The Observer reported that Climate Secretary Alok Sharma “used his first major interview as the clock ticks down to COP26 to paint a picture of a healthier world within reach, if businesses and investors could be convinced to grasp the opportunities”. What if they can’t be convinced and don’t invest, and we keep pootling on to disaster much as we are now? Do we just shrug our shoulders and leave the work undone, the transition not made, the jobs not created? And do we fail to train people for the skills we need; as the same approach applies to the new skills agenda, which will be led by demand from private business. At the webinar introducing this, the GJA asked “What if they don’t lead?” Answer came there none. The private sector will only be persuaded to invest if they think they can make a lot of money. Which is why banks still invest in fossil fuels. The time for urgent Government investment and direction is now.
In the meantime, the need for the whole of society to mobilise to make this happen requires a new legislative framework to put duties on employers and give rights to workers.
(NOTE: IPCC Report findings summary – Warming of the Earth’s surface is attributed to human activities and the report projected increases in future global mean temperature, rising sea levels, and increased frequency of heat waves.)
2. GKN Strike Ballot
3. Debate: Energy options and supply chains
4. Graphics of the Month
5. Government Reports and Task Forces
5. Green Jobs Task Force
7. Tooling up
8. Climate Crisis Advisory Group
8. UNITE Environment Conference
9. TUC Guide to motions and amendments
10. Fringe Meetings
11. Campaign updates
12. COP26 events
13. Climate themed learning month
14. Stats of the month
Further details at:www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk
Attachment: GJA-Newsletter-34-September/October 2021
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer