LTB 266/23 - Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 53 – October 2023
27 October 2023
Our Ref: EX18/23
To: All Branches
Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 53 – October 2023:
The Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) came into existence as a result of funding from Battersea and Wandsworth TUC. The GJA was launched to promote skills training and job creation to meet the needs of Britain’s rapidly growing low carbon sectors and to green the whole economy.
The transition to a low carbon and resource efficient economy can drive sustainable economic recovery and job creation in every part of the country as well as making existing jobs more secure. But this requires a more strategic national and local approach to deliver the workforce skills needed and to stimulate demand for clean energy and energy efficiency services.
The Greener Jobs Alliance liaises at a national and local level to build the broadest possible support for the policies, investment, partnerships and commitments needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.
The Greener Jobs Alliance liaises with training bodies, colleges, universities, employers, local and national Government, trade unions, housing associations, campaign and community groups – to build the policies, investment and partnerships needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.
GJA ‘Free’ Courses:
The GJA runs a number of ‘free’ courses on the environment for Trade Union Reps in different parts of the UK which have been attended by a number of CWU Reps with details published in the newsletter.
The GJA now offer three ‘on-line’ courses as follows:
Climate Change Awareness
This short introductory course is aimed at trade unionists and anyone wishing to develop their understanding of the issues around climate change. The course is divided into 4 modules. The modules contain background information, short videos, graphs and illustrations.
Module 1: Climate Change Explained
Module 2: International Responses
Module 3: Trade Union Responses
Module 4: Getting Involved
At the end of each section, there are references and links to additional materials if you want to go further. There are no formal tests and you can work through the materials at your own pace but there are optional quizzes to check your understanding at the end of modules 1, 2 and 3.
A Trade Union Guide to Just Transition
Social justice must be at the heart of the development of a net-zero carbon economy. The course covers:
The meaning and history of the term just transition
Why it should be a priority issue
UK and international policies and case studies
Ideas for developing an action plan
It is aimed at trade unionists and anyone wishing to improve their understanding of why just transition should be central to climate change policy.
Air Quality – a trade union issue
The following issues will be explored in this free online course. It is made up of 3 modules,
Module 1: The Causes and Health Impacts of Air Pollution
Module 2: The Law and Government Policy
Module 3: Trade Union Responses and Campaigns
Link to GJA on-line Courses:
GJA Founder Graham Petersen:
The founder GJA Secretary and Newsletter editor was Graham Petersen who is well known to the CWU and has a long standing working relationship with the Union. He is a former TUC tutor and course designer who created safety reps training courses and the successful TUC Occupational Health & Safety Diploma Course. He was the head of the Trade Union Studies Centre at South Thames College before retirement from the post and has been a visitor and guest speaker at CWU events and meetings.
After 30 editions, Graham stood down at the GJA AGM and handed over to Paul Atkin as newsletter editor and Tahir Latif as GJA Secretary. Graham remains a GJA Steering Group member and is now working part time for the Wales TUC having recently written a publication for them ‘Greener workplaces for a just transition – a Wales TUC toolkit for trade unionists’ which was circulated by the CWU Health, Safety and Environment Department.
Paul Atkin Editorial GJA Newsletter Issue 53 – ‘Editorial: “Short term decisions for a catastrophic future”:
Editor Paul Atkin again attacks the failures of Tory PM Rishi Sunak and the Tory government – backing off from Net Zero commitments. Paul states that Rishi Sunak’s decision to back off even further from climate mitigation plans already condemned as inadequate and illegal in the courts, to generate a political backlash to garner his failing government a few votes, takes the Conservative Party a step further towards the realms of delirious denial inhabited by Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Javier Millei on the crackpot far right.
Paul concludes that the Tories continue to make short term decisions for a disastrous future. The GJA has written to the Labour Leadership on what’s needed from Labour with questions put to Leader Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves and Shadow Environment Minister Steve Reed – putting green issues on the agenda.
The impacts of climate breakdown are intensifying: more than ever, a rapid transition away from fossil fuels is needed. But this government’s failure to address the crisis have left ordinary people facing soaring energy bills, and crucial infrastructure like public transport failing, while energy giants pocket obscene profits. A transformation is needed!
Read the full editorial & Newsletter Edition 53 attached.
Contents GJA Newsletter 53:
Editorial: Short term decisions for a catastrophic future
Questions for Rachel Reeves and Sir Keir Starmer
What we need from Labour
Ireland shows the way
Letter to the Prime Minister: The new approach to net zero
Most drivers support 20mph speed limits
Defend School Streets
Green Bargaining Conference
National Bargaining for a Just Transition in Further Education
Building it Green Part 2
BP sponsorship of British Museum ends
We Make Tomorrow Conference
COP 28: Global Day of Action
What is a just transition?
A just transition seeks to ensure that the substantial benefits of a green economy transition are shared widely, while also supporting those who stand to lose economically – be they countries, regions, industries, communities, workers or consumers.
A rapid increase in the speed and scale of actions required to reduce the risks of climate change will create new economic opportunities.
Whilst a just transition is mainly based on environmental considerations, it is also shaped by other structural changes affecting labour markets, such as globalisation, labour-saving technologies and the shift to services.
A just transition is an integral part of many of the global commitments adopted by countries. The Paris Agreement acknowledges “the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities” and highlights the importance of workers in responding to climate change.
Furthermore, the just transition concept links to 14 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, explicitly drawing together SDGs No 12 – climate action, No 10 – reduced inequalities, No 8 – decent work and economic growth, and No 7 – affordable and clean energy.
Many countries have recognised the challenge that this transformation entails and are taking measures to protect those that are most vulnerable and affected by the changes, including across the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) regions.
The European Union’s Just Transition Mechanism is integral to the EU’s Green Deal, targeted at ensuring “a fair transition to a climate-neutral economy, leaving no one behind” and aims to mobilise at least €150 billion over the period 2021-2027;
The Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration signed by 50 countries at COP24, which states that: “a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs are crucial to ensure an effective and inclusive transition”;
Climate Action for Jobs Initiative, co-led by the International Labour Organisation, Spain and Peru, with 46 countries committing to develop “national plans for a just transition and create decent green jobs”.
The UNFCCC Gender Action plan, whereby parties to the UNFCCC have recognized the importance of involving women and men equally in the development and implementation of national climate policies that are gender-responsive.
Quotes of the Month
“Advanced economies have special responsibilities in fighting climate change. What I would expect advanced economies to do is to increase their ambition further, rather than reducing it.”
Fatih BirolExecutive Director International Energy Agency
“The UK is part of a tiny club of wealthy countries that, while professing to lead on climate, is massively expanding oil and gas production. Just five nations – the US, Canada, Australia, Norway and the UK – are responsible for over half of all planned oil and gas field developments from now to 2050.”
Much more in the GJA Newsletter No 53 October attached.
GJA Newsletter No.53 for October 2023.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer