Confronting the Climate Crisis Conference

What a success!

As part of the One Million Climate Jobs initiative the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group held a conference bringing together climate scientists, politicians, trade unionists & environmental activists.

It was a great success; with brilliant speakers like Professor Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Joan Walley MP, the highly-respected Chair of the influential Environmental Audit Committee, Manual Cortes, the General Secretary of TSSA, Deputy leader of the Green Party Will Duckworth and Brenda Pollack South East England campaigns organiser for FoE as well as Ewa Jasiewicz, from No Dash for Gas

The conference was fully packed, with people standing in the aisles. There was interesting debate and discussion on how we move forward as a movement, how trade unionists can bring the issue of climate change into their union branches as well as how globally Trade Unions are working on Energy Democracy Initiatives - that support demands by both environmental activists and trade unionists.

A hugely informative and somewhat unexpected insight came out of the weird weather workshop - Dave Green, Fire Brigades Union national officer for floods, gave us a background into the reality of dealing with the impacts of weird weather as well as the UK Government's unhelpful bureaucy.

There is no allocated Government spending for floods, and with floods rapidly on the increase due to extreme weather whilst austerity measures are biting the F.B.U., this is an enormous disaster waiting to happen.

With barriers being broken down between Climate scientists, trade unionists, environmentalists and politicians, the feeling leaving the conference was one of enthusiam and energy.

Despite the huge amount of information on the latest science, as well as difficult questions being asked about where we go next given the time we have, to have this feeling is immensely positive.

Thank you to all those who joined us!

For more information on the conference and video recordings please click read more

2012 brought more and more news of a worsening climate. From droughts in the United States and Australia, to heavy rains and flooding, crop failures across the globe and an almost complete collapse of summer sea ice in the Arctic. At the same time governments are back tracking on commitments to deal with carbon emissions and the mitigation of the effects of global warming.

Governments are dealing with the global economic crisis with further austerity, leading to unemployment, cuts in public services and further attacks on working people.

The Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group has published two reports on the potential for "One Million Climate Jobs" to deal both with unemployment and to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. This, our fourth conference, will explore how we can continue to fight for these jobs in an era of austerity. But it will also be an opportunity for trade unions to listen to climate scientists and understand what is happening to our weather and our environment.

 More on the CCC Trade Union website




Confronting the Climate Crisis

June 8th 2013, London Metropolitan University

11.00: Chair’s opening

11.05: Welcome speech on behalf of London Metropolitan University UCU and Climate Action Group
Richard Payne (London Met UCU)

11.10: Opening address Sue Ferns (Director of Communications and Research, Prospect/ Co-chair of Trade Unions Sustainable Development Advisory Committee) for TUC:

11.20: Opening plenary: How serious is the climate crisis and how could it affect us? A briefing for trade unionists Prof Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (45 mins). Factual Q&A (10 mins)

Video part 1
Video part 2
Video part 3 (Questions and Discussion)

12.20 Workshops 1:

1. The melting Arctic: what will it mean?
Dr Michel Tsamados (Research Associate, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Reading University)

Video part 1
Video part 2 (Questions and Discussion)

2. Weird weather: is this the new normal? Dr Richard Allan (Reader in Climate Science, University of Reading), Dave Green (Fire Brigades Union national officer for floods)

3. Climate change: the threat to agriculture and food supply – Kirtana Chandrasekaran (Food Sovereignty Programme Co-ordinator, Friends of the Earth International), Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, CACCTU)

1.20: Lunch

2.00: Second Plenary: Fighting climate change and for climate jobs, internationally & locally – Andreas Ytterstad (Chair, Union of Concerned Scientists, Norway), Dr Lara Skinner (Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, USA), Manuel Cortez (General Secretary, TSSA), Martin Empson (Million Climate Jobs Campaign), Ewa Jasiewicz (No Dash for Gas). Speakers from South African Trade Unions and Canadian indigenous movement linked through Skype.

Please click on names for videos. Click here for the discussion session.

3.00: Workshops 2:

1. Fighting for climate jobs in the unions
Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary, PCS)

2. Uniting trade unions with community campaigns
Graham Petersen (UCU national environment co-ordinator/ Greener Jobs Alliance), Peter Robinson (Jobs and Climate Alliance), Jane Thomas (Senior England Campaigner, Friends of the Earth)

3. Changing the Government’s climate  policy
Confirmed lead speakers – Joan Walley MP (Chair, House of Commons Environmental Scrutiny Committee), John McDonnell MP, Philip Pearson (TUC Senior Policy Officer for Climate Change and Energy)

Video part 1
Video part 2 (Questions & discussion)

4.00: Closing Plenary: Countering austerity - the fight for climate jobs (“Question Time” panel format)
Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary PCS), Martin Mayer (National Executive, Unite), Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, CACCTU), Jonathan Stevenson (Fuel Poverty Action), Joan Walley MP, Will Duckworth (Deputy Leader, Green Party)

Video part 1
Video part 2

Saturday, June 8, 2013 - 11:00 to 17:00