From the TUC

Green jobs are good, and unions get it

23 Oct 2008, by in Environment

Terry Macalister in today’s Guardian reports on the call by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for a green new deal to both deal with the environmental challenge and help revive the economy.

This is good stuff. I suspect both at the global and national level there is going to be a strong lobby for anti-recessionary spending to be given an environmental purpose, even if some, like investment in wind or nuclear, will be controversial.

As an earlier UNEP report has shown:

“A global transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy can create large numbers of green jobs across many sectors of the economy, and indeed can become an engine of development. Current green job creation is taking place in both the rich countries and in some of the major developing economies.”

But it is a shame Terry finishes his report by saying:

“The Green Jobs study was hailed as being crucial to overcoming global resistance from the labour movement, which for many years opposed the Kyoto agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions amid fears that members would lose their jobs.”

The international trade union movement in fact supported Kyoto as this ICFTU statement shows. Of course there may be one or two bits of the movement outside the wide consensus around this approach, but that is not the same as “global resistance”.


Terry has been in touch to say that he didn’t actually write the final paragraph of the story, and he would not ahve written that. It looks like the subs had a sudden space to fill, and improvised.