Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 46 – March 2023:
The Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) came into existence as a result of funding from Battersea and Wandsworth TUC. The GJA 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.
GJA ‘Free’ Courses:
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 with details published in the newsletter.
The GJA now offer three ‘on-line’ courses as follows:
1. Climate Change Awareness
This short introductory course is aimed at trade unionists and anyone wishing to develop their understanding of the issues around climate change. The course is divided into 4 modules. The modules contain background information, short videos, graphs and illustrations.
- Module 1: Climate Change Explained
- Module 2: International Responses
- Module 3: Trade Union Responses
- Module 4: Getting Involved
At the end of each section, there are references and links to additional materials if you want to go further. There are no formal tests and you can work through the materials at your own pace but there are optional quizzes to check your understanding at the end of modules 1, 2 and 3.
2. A Trade Union Guide to Just Transition
Social justice must be at the heart of the development of a net-zero carbon economy. The course covers:
- The meaning and history of the term just transition
- Why it should be a priority issue
- UK and international policies and case studies
- Ideas for developing an action plan
It is aimed at trade unionists and anyone wishing to improve their understanding of why just transition should be central to climate change policy.
3. Air Quality – a trade union issue
The following issues will be explored in this free online course. It is made up of 3 modules,
- Module 1: The Causes and Health Impacts of Air Pollution
- Module 2: The Law and Government Policy
- Module 3: Trade Union Responses and Campaigns
Link to GJA on-line Courses:https://greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/courses/
GJA Founder Graham Petersen:
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 and 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’ which was circulated by the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department.
Paul Atkin Editorial GJA Newsletter Issue 46 – ‘Editorial: Car Wars’
The debate is raging over the London Mayor’s ‘ULEZ expansion plan’ to extend the zone from London’s north and south circular roads to cover the whole of the capital from August 29when it will expand to border areas of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey and bring in a £12.50 daily fee for those drivers entering the zone with older vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards plus the Oxford City Council’s ‘15 minute city zones’ proposal in their ‘Plan 2040’ in which residents will be limited to drive freely around their own neighbourhoods but being fined £70 for driving into other neighbourhoods. Both have garnered significant controversy, protests, marches, petitioning and lobbying.
In this edition Editor Paul Atkin opens up with reference to debate on how we make a just transition in transport. With transport producing just under a quarter of UK emissions and no progress in cutting them for a decade, serious measures are overdue and Paul points out that this is not so much about simply shifting from fossil fuel to electric powered personally owned vehicles. 92% of journeys in the UK are still made by car but not surprising as there is insufficient investment in alternatives such as designing and reconfiguring cities to avoid commuting wherever possible, shifting to public transport, and making it cheap or free; with more widespread free travel for key workers and more flexible use of travel cards,
Paul’s dead right. Bus and train services have been privatised and over the years have been continually cut sharply, right across the country and of course the UK is the most expensive European country by far in terms of rail travel with another 5.9% increase this month. In 2019, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) released a study showing the increases in rail fares and weekly earnings in the UK. The TUC concluded that rail fares rose by 46 per cent over the past 10 years while nominal weekly earnings increased by only 23 per cent.
With the prospect of a change of government by 2024 we need workable policies for the benefit of all not just the few in the plans and campaigning of opposition parties.
Contents GJA Newsletter 46
- Editorial: Car Wars
- GJA AGM
- Ending the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Age – Winning the Transition to Electric Vehicles
- Electric vehicles and jobs
- Circular Economy for Auto Industry?
- Time to Ban SUVs?
- What our cities could look like
- Offshore oil and gas workers plan for the energy transition
- Global Ocean Treaty may block deep sea mining
- Who does National Grid work for?
- Green Bargaining UCU
- TUC guide to advocating for Retrofit
- NEU Guide to School Retrofit
- Mass lobby of Parliament
- Labour for a Green New Deal – Appeal for Volunteers for ‘Worker-Climate Team’
- Green Bites
What is a just transition?
A just transition seeks to ensure that the substantial benefits of a green economy transition are shared widely, while also supporting those who stand to lose economically – be they countries, regions, industries, communities, workers or consumers.
A rapid increase in the speed and scale of actions required to reduce the risks of climate change will create new economic opportunities.
Whilst a just transition is mainly based on environmental considerations, it is also shaped by other structural changes affecting labour markets, such as globalisation, labour-saving technologies and the shift to services.
A just transition is an integral part of many of the global commitments adopted by countries. The Paris Agreement acknowledges “the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities” and highlights the importance of workers in responding to climate change.
Furthermore, the just transition concept links to 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, explicitly drawing together SDGs 12 – climate action, 10 – reduced inequalities, 8 – decent work and economic growth, and 7 – affordable and clean energy.
Many countries have recognised the challenge that this transformation entails and are taking measures to protect those that are most vulnerable and affected by the changes, including across the EBRD regions.
- The European Union’s Just Transition Mechanism is integral to the EU’s Green Deal, targeted at ensuring “a fair transition to a climate-neutral economy, leaving no one behind” and aims to mobilise at least €150 billion over the period 2021-2027;
- The Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration signed by 50 countries at COP24, which states that: “a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs are crucial to ensure an effective and inclusive transition”;
- Climate Action for Jobs Initiative, co-led by the International Labour Organisation, Spain and Peru, with 46 countries committing to develop “national plans for a just transition and create decent green jobs”.
- The UNFCCC Gender Action plan, whereby parties to the UNFCCC have recognized the importance of involving women and men equally in the development and implementation of national climate policies that are gender-responsive.
GJA Annual General Meeting
This GJA AGM will take place on Tuesday 14 March 2023, 11.00-13.00
- Niall Toru (Friends of the Earth) – National Climate Service
- Hannah David (PCS) – Green Bargaining Officer
- Hannah Markova (TUC) –
- Q&A session
- Plan of Action 2023
This is a Hybrid Meeting.
Attending in person UCU HQ, Carlow St, Camden, Town London NW1 7LH
Register for attendance by e-mailing email@example.com.
GJA Newsletter Snippets:
Mass lobby of Parliament 1 April
On the 1 April, people across the UK are going to lobby their MPs to call for proper funding for nationwide energy efficiency in homes to lower bills and tackle the climate crisis.
The government has failed to do the quickest and cheapest thing to help lower bills – they’ve not properly insulated homes or swapped gas boilers for heat pumps. If they did, the average household would save £1800 a year! Organised by Warm this Winter, a coalition of 40 organisations including 350.org, Greenpeace, Fuel Poverty Action Group and many more. Full details at: https://campaigns.350.org/calendars/warm-this-winter?utm_source=GPUKthurs1&utm_campaign=GPUK
RMT Win Free Travel Passes for TfL Cleaners
One positive bit of news is that the RMT recently won Free Travel Passes for all 5,800 outsourced Transport for London cleaners. We need more victories like this.
Quote of the Month:
“You cannot exist unless you have the power to alter the future.,”
Graham Greene (The Quiet American)
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
LTB 063/23 – Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 46 – March 2023
Leave a Reply