Environment

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Activist Resources

This guide is aimed at trade union reps and members
A 3-part handbook with practical guide to taking action in

Humanity is facing two major crises, economic and environmental. Over the past 50 years our current global economic model has failed to deliver the sustainable society that we need. Poverty has increased in absolute terms. The gap between rich and poor is growing as wealth is not redistributed equally. At the same time, we have already breached the “safe operating limit” of our planet in three key ways: climate change, loss of biodiversity loss and the excessive production of nitrogen and phosphorus. The world’s population is increasing rapidly (a projected 9 billion by 2050).

The TUC’s annual Congress has consistently supported progressive policies on climate change. See for example the motion on a Low carbon economy at Congress 2011: http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-20074-f0.cfm
Decarbonising the economy – in energy supply, transport, at home and at work - is essential to promoting sustainable growth, high quality employment and security of energy supply.

The TUC and its 58 affiliated unions believe that the scientific evidence from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/contents.html underlines the urgency of a concerted approach to tackle climate change. This requires effective government action both nationally and internationally.

Our reports, conferences, campaigns and alliances with employers and campaigners address  the many employment, skills and economic issues involved in the Just Transition to a low carbon economy. We seek to influence national policy in contacts with Government, including through the Trades Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee (TUSDAC),a key interface between the TUC and its affiliates and the Department for the Environmental and Rural Affairs.


The government’s Trade Union Bill wants to empower “A Minister of the Crown” to cap the time and resources available to union reps in the public and private sectors sector to represent their members effectively. Yet growing awareness of the impacts of climate change on our daily lives has spurred...
04 August 2015
The mythical “march of the makers”: In his 2011 Budget speech, George Osborne said he wanted “a Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers.” However, a new TUC analysis shows that manufacturing’s proportion of GDP has flatlined at 10.1% of GDP for the past six years. Our foundation...
18 March 2015
7 March 2015 Commenting on the Time to Act on Climate Change march taking place today (Saturday) in London, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “2015 is a crunch year for the UN’s climate change negotiations and every government must play its part to make the new climate treaty a...
07 March 2015
The government is saddling businesses with higher than necessary energy bills through its failing energy efficiency strategy for the commercial sector, a new TUC report argues today (Friday). Efforts by government to boost commercial energy efficiency are not working, and end up costing UK businesses millions of pounds every year,...
13 February 2015
An ambitious roll-out of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology in Scotland would generate a large number of jobs and create a market worth £15-35bn by 2030, says the TUC and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA).
27 January 2015
Unions have today (Friday) warned that they may not be able to support global climate change legislation if it fails to protect workers’ jobs, says the TUC. Although unions plan to support the United Nation’s ambitious climate change treaty in Paris next year, they are concerned that as the world...
12 December 2014
Green innovation: industrial policy for a low carbon future This report for the TUC by Prof Paul Ekins and Will McDowall argues that government has a key leadership role in creating a “dynamic and vibrant innovation system” that meets society’s environmental and economic aspirations. The direction the UK’s economic growth...
06 November 2014
This Time is Different: The Prospects for an Effective Climate Agreement in Paris 2015 Fergus Green explores the “policy architecture” of the global climate change treaty that the UN is striving to conclude by the time it meets in Paris, December 2015. We want a “fair, ambitious and legally binding”...
06 November 2014
Commenting on today’s report ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ from the Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This excellent report by a highly distinguished commission drawn from across the globe makes a compelling and practical case for how a rapid low-carbon shift can...
16 September 2014
GREENING THE WORKPLACE – BUILDING THE UNION EFFECT, 11 JULY 2014 Speech by Kay Carberry, TUC Assistant General Secretary Key points from the new Labour Research Department report for the TUC on the union effect in greening our workplaces. New rights for environmental reps.
15 July 2014

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