The Green Party Holistic Review does not include a position on the proposed Council for someone representing trade unions. The GPTU believes that this is a serious ommission. Work with trade unions should be central to the Green Party, not just because it is part of the social justice agenda but also because a genuine move towards a low-carbon economy must involve Just Transition and thus positive work with trade unions to address the impact on workers in the industrial and energy sectors.
The GPTU is already involved through our participation in the Greener Jobs Alliance, discussions around a new Lucas Plan and support for the Clean Air Trade Union Network.
A motion has been proposed for the Spring Conference that can be found on the conference pre-agenda page.
The NEU, the largest teachers’ union has been in the forefront of union action on climate change.
Support is building for the following motion which has been updated to include reference to the current school students’ strikes.
Conference recognises that the latest
UN climate report shows that:
1. Without more rapid action, there will be at least a 3 degrees
temperature rise by 2100;
2. 1 degree rise above pre-industrial levels has already led to increasing
fires, hurricanes, floods and droughts;
3. The transition to a zero-carbon society to keep below a 1.5
degree increase is the most urgent problem facing humanity and is technically
4. The obstacles are entirely political.
Conference believes that:
i. The consequences of a failure to act – or an unjust
transition, whereby those with wealth and power dump the costs downwards – will
be severe for our members, our communities, the children we teach and – in the
worst case – could threaten our survival;
ii. We have to help lead a Just Transition; shifting energy
production, transport, housing and agriculture onto a sustainable basis within
the lifetimes of the children currently in our schools; with workers and
communities most directly affected not dumped into destitution like the miners,
but re-skilled to carry the transition out;
iii. This needs immediate Government investment for a
qualitative shift within 12 years, including a significant shift in the focus
and aims of Education;
iv. The current Government’s market solutions are failing,
leading to the UK missing its targets; and
v. The Labour Green Transformation Plan grasps the scale and
speed of the transition required but this must be integrated into every level
of the proposed National Education Service (NES).
Conference instructs the Executive to approach NUS, UCU, other
education unions and interested parties to:
a. Lobby Government to press them on plans to carry out their
obligation under the Paris Agreement to educate the public about the scale
of climate change and the measures needed to deal with it – including
through school’s curricula – and a recognition that for every school to be zero
carbon by 2030;
b. Make Just Transition a key narrative in our discussions about
the NES; and
c. Hold an Education for a Just Transition conference in the
Add to point iii) as required by Article 12 of
the Paris Agreement.
Add new point vi) That the inadequacy of
government action in the face of the urgency of the crisis has led to a rapidly
growing global school students movement rightly taking the lead in demanding
that their politicians urgently take the action needed to tackle the climate
crisis and that our education system reflects this priority.
Add new point vi) As a generation without a
voice in elections, but one which the climate crisis will impact the greatest,
we commend their willingness to engage in political debate to ensure their
voice is heard.
Add after “interested parties” – including the
school students movement.
Add new point d) Welcome the statement by
Education International stating that “education unions stand with the
students”, to disseminate this statement widely and propose that EI promotes an
international campaign to implement Article 12.
Add at end
Conference agrees that the National Education
Union affiliates to the Campaign Against Climate Change.