Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 35 – November/December 2021 and Supplementary ‘Insulation Special Edition’:
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 earlier this year 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.35 for November/December 2021.
In this Newsletter the GJA editor predicts that we are in for a prolonged struggle. He says that every day the crisis gets worse and we have the choice of passivity and despair, or action and hope. Every day we have to ask ourselves the questions, if not us, who? If not now, when? We are now in a period of damage limitation; in which anything and everything we can do to make a difference we must do. Current plans have us on course for a catastrophic 2.7C increase. There is no excuse for anyone arguing for delays, or for someone else to take the lead. There is especially no excuse for the world’s richest countries – collectively responsible for 92% of emissions to date – trying to foist blame onto the industrialising parts of the developing world for their impertinence in wanting their people to be as well off as ours are.
The International Energy Agency states that 70% of the investment to head off climate breakdown must be made in the Global South. This makes the failure to meet the £100 billion a year pledged from the Global North without creative accounting even more obscene; especially when you consider that 71% of the capital transferred up to now has been in the form of loans that have to be paid back, that the richest 1% amassed an additional $10 trillion in wealth in 2020 alone, and that Elon Musk could pay for a year of it on his own and still have £25 billion left over from his 2020 increase.
There should be no delusions about this. Carbon emissions per head from China are just 46% that of the US, Brazil 14% and India 12%. So, the biggest, sharpest, fastest cuts in emissions have to come in the wealthiest countries with no excuses. The Prime Minister tells us that “if we don’t act now, it will be too late”, but doesn’t tell Rishi Sunak, and is quietly sitting on 40 pending fossil fuel applications that amount to three times the UK’s current annual emissions. Naked in the conference chamber with no leg to stand on.
More significantly, in the USA the way that the Republicans and the pair of fossil fuelled Democrats who vote with them have beaten down the Green New Deal parts of Biden’s infrastructure bill to just $550 billion over ten years, leaves US action now significantly adrift of its targets.
Contents GJA Newsletter 35:
- Polluters Budget
- Government Net Zero Plan
- Green Jobs Report
- COP mobilisations
- Building a Workforce for the Climate Emergency
- EI Report Card
- DFE strategy – unions response
- Mock COP
- STATS of the Month
Also see attached GJA Newsletter Supplementary ‘Insulation Special Edition’.
In this supplementary special edition, the GJA calls for Building a Retrofit Campaign as a matter of urgency.
At its recent annual conference, the Labour Party announced that, if elected, it would undertake a £60 billion programme of home retrofitting including insulation and heating. At the recent SERA AGM, Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead MP explained how this would be “180 degrees different” from the Conservative’s two failed attempts to grapple with this since 2010. It will be done collectively on an area basis and managed by local authorities with FE Colleges involved in local training.
- Neighbourhoods will be designated as low carbon/efficiency zones.
- Each of these will contain a mix of tenures. Home owners will get 0% loans. Private sector landlords will be required to meet the standard before being allowed to rent out. Social housing would be done through direct grants to LAs.
- This should get all homes up to standard before 3035.
The GJA calls for:
- This programme, especially if carried out by local authority direct labour.
- Retrofitting should be ‘Free at the point of use’ and collectively managed.
- Local Authorities must be funded sufficiently to be able to coordinate retrofitting locally.
- Everybody involved needs to feel secure within a stable long-term framework.
- Everyone doing this work should be a trade union member to guarantee proper terms and conditions and adherence to Health and Safety procedures.
- The workforce doing this work should be diverse and fully reflective of the communities they are working with.
Contents GJA Newsletter Supplementary ‘Insulation Special Edition’
- Editorial – the urgent need for a retrofit campaign Paul Atkin & Tahir Latif
- The Scottish model Roz Foyer
- The NEF/GND Great Homes Upgrade campaign Aydin Dikerdem
- How we could do it Wolfgang Kuchler
- How to train the skilled workforce we need Linda Clarke
- Stats of the month
Further details at:www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk
- GJA-Newsletter-35-September/October 2021
- GJA-Supplementary ‘Insulation Special Edition’
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer