The Scottish Trades Union Congress is meeting in Dundee from 15th – 17th April. We reprint the text of our leaflet here.
We have the technological knowledge to make a rapid transition to a sustainable economy. What’s missing is political will. The politics of transition is as critical as the technology.
The recent IPCC report highlights the urgent need for action. It’s important that the Scottish Government has set up the Just Transition Commission. However, the Energy Bill and other legislation going through the parliament falls far short of what’s required. Just transition isn’t an abstract idea. It means understanding that working people, their lives, livelihoods, skills and commitment are central to tackling the climate crisis.
The UN and national governments around the world have put their faith in the market. This approach has failed – carbon emissions are rising faster than at any time in human history. But there is an alternative. The Campaign Against Climate Change’s Million Climate Jobs plan outlines a detailed practical blueprint for transition. This would involve large scale programmes of publicly funded investment creating new jobs, protecting the livelihoods of those who will move from oil, gas and defence industriesto new jobs – Improving the lives of the bulk of the population through better insulated homes and improved public transport.
Only right wing ideologues now deny climate change. But beyond a relatively small layer of activists most people feel disconnected and powerless. The challenge is to link the necessary steps to the immediacy of working class lives. Workers in defence, construction and hydrocarbons are key. Their skills are needed to build the new and democratic economy. Yet at present they work in sectors that have seen a huge increase in agency workers and worsening pay and conditions.
The stakes couldn’t be higher – the lives and welfare of our children and grandchildren are at stake. Trade unions are crucial in shaping the kind of mass movement that can prevent climate catastrophe and ensure that the transition to a sustainable economy is just.
Developing Sustainable and Socially Useful Jobs in Today’s Economy
Wednesday April 17 at 1230pm
Committee Room 2 City Chambers
Pete Roche – research officer – Nuclear Free Local Authorities
Speaker from Scot.E3
Meeting organised by Scottish CND