Going for climate jobs
Who says unions don’t care about the environment? “For a Future that works – Trade Unions & the Environment” is North West TUC’s answer, demonstrating their commitment with a major Trade Union Conference on the environment in Blackpool on Saturday 21 July. The conference balances policy debates with practical activists’ workshops to pave the way for future union green action.
Two workshops on extreme energy (Fracking and Waste Incineration) are deemed to be controversial as climate activists defend a ban on those practices, whereas some unions put the issue of jobs first.
Fracking has become a major issue in the region since experiments are being carried out by the company Cuadrilla in Blackpool and Southport, with exploration licences granted at various sites across the UK. The technique involves pumping huge amount of water mixed with chemicals into the ground to extract gas. It is believed that it can potentially harm local communities, pollute underground water and have major effects on people’s health. But employers claim it could create thousand jobs and provide gas for the foreseeable future.
One can be dubious when you know that gas plant generate large amount of CO2, contributing to runaway climate change. Trade unions needs to ask themselves difficult questions when it comes to the environment: do we support any jobs, anywhere? Or do we go for climate jobs that are sustainable?
The questions need to be asked because climate change is happening now. Keynote speakers include Chris Baugh, PCS Assistant General Secretary and Derek Wall, former principal speaker from the Green Party. For more info about the conference and registrations, contact [email protected].