Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 47 – April 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 47 – ‘Editorial: “Meet the New Plan – Same as The Old Plan”:
Editor Paul Atkin critiques the Tory Government’s “Powering Up Britain Report” which attempts to address the policy deficiencies which led to the Government’s High Court defeat in September. Green activists and environmental groups brought the action, arguing the Government climate change strategy did not spell out how carbon emissions cuts would be achieved. The high court ordered the Government to outline exactly how its net zero policies will achieve emissions targets after the court agreed that the Government’s flagship climate change strategy had illegally failed to include the policies it needed to deliver the promised emissions cuts. Atkin concludes that Minister Grant Shapps’s update is still based primarily on techno fixes based on untested, hopeful technology instead of putting more effort in to renewable energy initiatives.
The plans would at least call time on new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, unblock onshore wind, invest ten times as much into port infrastructure for floating offshore wind as the Tories have earmarked, ensure a zero emissions standard for new build homes and put serious money into insulation; which would make more of a dent in carbon emissions and fuel poverty. They would also seek to match the state subsidy given to investors by the US and EU to prevent deindustrialisation in sectors like automotive and steel manufacture.
Contents GJA Newsletter 47:
- Editorial: Meet the New Plan – Same as the Old Plan
- OUR POWER Report GJA Supporters Meeting
- XR Big One Demo Events
- TUC report launch – Public transport fit for the climate emergency
- Gigafactories Update
- Battery Recycling
- GJA AGM 2023
- The Climate Crisis is a Class Issue
- Making the case for a National Climate Service
- Worker-led Transition Project Officers
- Carbon Budget Shortfall
- Climate Perks
- NEU Conference Result
- Climate Justice Coalition Trade Union Conference
- Alliance for Finance
- Costing the Earth
- Building Cathedrals
- 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 was held on Tuesday 14 March 2023 with a number of Guest Speakers; Niall Toru (Friends of the Earth) – National Climate Service, Hannah David (PCS) – Green Bargaining Officer and Hannah Markova (TUC). The GJA Plan of Action 2023 was debated. A full report is on page 6 of Newsletter 47 (attached).
GJA Newsletter Snippets:
Grade 1 listed York Minster Cathedral, a registered English Heritage Site, will install a total of 199 solar panels which will be placed upon the roof of South Quire Aisle, a part of the cathedral which originally dates from 1361. This will generate around 75,000kW/h of power annually. One of the globe’s most iconic cathedrals, York Minster, is set to install the solar PV panels following approvals by City of York Council (CoYC) and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England. As well as contributing to meeting daytime power demand, surplus power generated by the panels will be stored in underground batteries and used to power the cathedral’s evening services and events. This solar development will contribute to the Church of England’s decarbonisation target, aiming to be net zero by 2030.
Quote of the Month:
“A prime minister who, in the middle of an accelerating climate crisis, is happy to have the
electricity grid upgraded to heat his new swimming pool is one who may defend the
interests of fellow members of the 1% by any means necessary. The catastrophic carbon
footprints of the super-rich ought to be one of the issues of our age.
But super rich Rishi Sunak (Total Worth £750 Million) seems more interested in sending climate activists to jail.”
Andy Beckett (The Guardian)
- See attached copy of the GJA Newsletter No.47 for April 2023.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
23LTB100 Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 47 – April 2023
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