The Wales TUC has today (22nd September) called on public sector chief executives in Wales to show real leadership on climate change ahead of the COP26 environmental summit in Glasgow in November. Welsh unions are joining labour and environmental activists across the world for a day of action today demanding that employers protect both climate and jobs in their workplaces as they plan for the future.
With research showing that over half of carbon emissions are work-related, the union body is highlighting the huge role that workplaces have in the effort to reach net zero. Examples of changes that could have an impact include providing flexible working arrangements to workers, investing in energy efficient buildings and appliances, and supporting sustainable transport schemes – like cycle to work programmes.
Wales TUC is seeking to ensure that workers are fully involved in developing organisational plans for hitting net zero targets. Research undertaken by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) shows that more than three-quarters (79%) of people across the globe believe that employees should have a right to know what measures their company is planning to climate-proof jobs and workplaces. To facilitate effective joint working, unions are calling for public sector employers to recognise and support the role of trade union green reps through the provision of facility time.
Wales TUC General Secretary Shavanah Taj said:
“We know that jobs and employment are serious concerns for people when looking at how we shift to carbon zero workplaces. That’s why we need to have the conversation about both climate and employment at the same time – and do so as early as possible.
“The public sector has a major role in delivering decarbonisation. With COP 26 around the corner, the Welsh public sector has the chance show real leadership and to influence change across other parts of the economy.
“Workers must be involved in the development of plans that will affect their working lives and have the chance to contribute ideas that could help shape the climate transition.
“That’s why Welsh unions are joining our partners around the world for this day of action. We’re saying to our public bodies in Wales: be ambitious, show leadership and, crucially, bring your workforce along with you on this mission. Engage with unions as early as possible in the development of net zero plans and ensure those plans cover workforce planning and skills opportunities and give workers a clear road map for the future.”