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We face a climate crisis and a crisis of pay and employment for millions of working people - but there is an alternative.
Unless decisive action is taken in the next few years, climate change will become irreversible and catastrophic. Already droughts and more intense hurricanes and typhoons are affecting communities around the world and pose the prospect of rising food prices and the greater risk of flooding for us in Britain. But politicians dither and consistently refuse to reach a binding international agreement on reducing emissions.
At the same time working people are paying the price for an economic crisis they did not cause by suffering job insecurity and reduced income levels. Just under two million people are unemployed - a million of them young people. Currently, only 1 in 40 new employee jobs are on secure full-time contracts. Low pay, unemployment and benefit cuts mean that a million families in Britain have to choose between heating their homes adequately in winter or having regular meals.
The One Million Climate Jobs report produced by the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union group and backed by eight national unions shows that, for a relatively small amount, we can tackle all these problems. We can create a million secure Government jobs in renewable energy, in increasing energy efficiency by insulating homes and public buildings free of charge, in hugely expanding cheap public transport to get people and freight onto cleaner forms of transit, and in developing the "green skills" that we need through education and training.
A million decently paid Government jobs, and the spin-off of half a million additional jobs that this would create, could kick-start the economy. It is the alternative both to austerity and to Government inaction as the world slides towards climate catastrophe.
"The Million Climate Jobs pamphlet is a fantastic tool for mapping the kind of climate justice future we should all be working towards." Naomi Klein
Find out more about how one million climate jobs could bring about a just transition to a low-carbon economy, and what it would mean for our society and our climate, in this fully updated and revised 2014 edition.
To find out about the research behind the report read the full companion technical report.
The One Million Climate Jobs report is supported by the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU), Communication Workers Union (CWU), Fire Brigades Union (FBU), National Union of Students (NUS), Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Transport Salaried Staffs Associationa (TSSA), Unite, the union (UNITE), and the University and College Union (UCU).
The Global Union Climate Conference is set to take place this year on the 14th and 15th September, fittingly, in Paris - just less than two months before the crucial Paris Climate Summit meeting in December. Click here to go to their website or Facebook page to find out more about the event. Invitations are available in a variety of different languages, too.
If you would like to remain in the UK, however, there will be a conference on the 19th September in Sheffield, organised by the Sheffield Climate Alliciance and CaCCTU. For more information, see here.
Time to Act: The People’s Climate March of September 2014 brought half a million people to the streets in New York, London and across the world, demanding bold and decisive action on climate change. The more recent Time to Act March (07.03.15) in London attracted a whopping 20,000 people from across the country to reinforce this urgent message. Both marches were joined by thousands of trade union members and working people, responding to austerity and global warming as symptoms of the same problem.
The impacts of climate change are already upon us. We don't have to look hard to see the devastation that is beginning to take hold on peoples lives and the environment across the globe: from the melting Arctic to erratic rainfalls in subSaharan Africa and increased risk of hurricanes and flooding.
In the UK, the effects of climate change have not reached our shores so severely yet. But, if it is not taken seriously, the effects will be catastrophic. Responding appropriately to the climate crisis upon us will open the gateway for hundreds of thousands of green jobs.
Tackling climate change at the root through greening the economy is a direct and positive way in which climate activism and job provision meet. As ever we are strengthening Union affiliations through networking events, conferences and communication. If you are already affiliated or want to be then get in touch to organise a representative to attend an event.
Affiliate online below via PayPal, or send us a cheque with a covering note to the address at the bottom of the page. If you would rather pay via a bank transfer directly to us then that is fine too, just get in touch by phone or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7833 9311
Your Union can affiliate at 3 levels: Local: £25 Regional: £50 National: £150
CCC Trade Union Working Group website: Climate Change and Trade Unions
The figures in this video are not identical to those in the 2014 report, but the message comes through loud and clear. A DVD is available with this video in higher resolution along with a longer (33 min) version with more technical detail. This can be purchased for £6 inc. P&P from Reel News.