Notes and actions from the April organising meeting

Notes from Scot.E3 Edinburgh organising meeting180419

  • Attending PS, ZT, CM, PC, EC, BP – apologies from KW, WB, SB, MD
  • Agreed to rewrite the preamble to the article that responds to criticisms of Just Transition in the light of the new STUC statement on climate action and publish it on the blog.
  • The leaflet we distributed on the first day of the STUC in Dundee was well received.Thanks to SCND for hosting the fringe meeting on jobs, divestment and sustainability that we spoke at – about 30 people attended.  We also joined a discussion organised by the STUC with young people from recent climate action.
  • Throughout the meetingideas for further briefings/resources/blog posts came up in discussion. These included:
  • The case for taking INEOS into public ownership
  • Sustainable housing
  • Divestment, nuclear decommissioning and a sustainable future
  • Why nuclear shouldn’t be part of a just transition
  • A critical look at energy from waste schemes

If you are interested in contributing to any of these please let us know.

  • There will be a climate bloc on Edinburgh May Day (4thMay) – we are working with Friends of the Earth Scotland to build this. PC will check whether we can organise a meeting for people on it to attend afterwards possibly at the May Day Bookfair at the Leith Community Centre, Sunday 5th
  • We still need to find a couple of people who can take the Scot.E3 banner through to the Glasgow May Day march (5thMay). The banner will be on the Edinburgh march on the 4th, can anyone take the banner through to Glasgow for this given that we also have to cover the Leith event.
  • We’ve been invited to speak at the Edinburgh Green Party meeting, 7.30pm at the Augustine Church on 25thApril – PC to speak.
  • Edinburgh City Council Climate emergency meeting 25thApril, 6pm at the City Chambers Scot.E3 have been asked to host a table – WB taking responsibility for this but others welcome – you’ll need to register at this Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/climate-emergency-action-needed-6pm-thur-25-apr-edinburgh-city-chambers-tickets-59567249246
  • Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland seminar on climate change, just transition and divestment issues, Dundee City Chambers, 10th May – EC going to this
  • State Energy Company

Climate Jobs and a mass movement

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.

Urgent action

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.

Climate Jobs

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.

Just Transition

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.

Fringe Meeting

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

scote3-sq-logo

 

 

 

STUC Fringe Meeting

The Scottish Trades Union Congress meets at the Caird Hall in Dundee from 15th – 17th April.  Scot.E3 is contributing to one of the fringe meetings:

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

wind-energy-488534_1280

Action points and information from the March 21st Scot.E3 meeting

Action

Climate Jobs Bloc on the Edinburgh and Glasgow May Day marches (4thMay Edinburgh, 5thMay Glasgow).  PC and KW to liaise over text of invite to unions and environmental activists to join the march.  PS has spoken to graphic designer about producing artwork for a climate jobs banner.

On Sunday May 5th there will be a Book fair at the Kirkgate Community Centre in Leith as part of the May Day events.  We could have a side room to show films/ hold discussions.  Agreed that perhaps we should have two fixed times for discussion.  REEL News may be able to attend. More details to follow.

BP explained about the ‘Lucas Plan’ group in England. We’ve been invited to speak on Just Transition at a conference in Manchester on April 13th.  BP can attend – DS may also be able to – anyone not at the meeting who is interested in going please email to let us know.

Draft of blog post responding to the GMB’s criticism of the Just Transition Commission is now complete – agreed to circulate more widely and then publish after any further amendments are made.

STUC conference in Dundee 15th – 17thApril.  We’ll speak at a joint fringe meeting with Scottish CND. Joe Pisani has agreed to speak. PC will check if it’s possible to have another contribution to say something about ScotE3.  Agreed that we should prioritise having a woman speaker for this.  Please let us know if you are going to be at the conference or can attend to help with leafleting.

We’ve been invited to speak to the Edinburgh Green Party on Climate Jobs and Just Transition on Thursday 25 April.  Agreed that it would be useful to focus on these issues in terms of local action – eg housing.   We can do this as a collective contribution rather than just one voice so if you’d be interested in helping please email.

Agreed to publicise and support the Climate Rally at the Scottish Parliament on 2ndApril, 12.30 to 2pm as MSPs discuss the new Climate Bill.

Agreed that discussion on an autumn conference should be a main agenda point at the next organising meeting

Agreed that over the next few days we would work on two new blog posts/briefings – one on the Energy from Waste Schemes that are currently being built and one on the proposed State Energy Company – if you’d like to contribute to either of these projects please email to let us know.

Information

It’s planned that the next Glasgow meeting will be a public meeting on Public ownership.

Glasgow activists are looking to source Scot.E3 tee-shirts

Recent posts on the Scot.E3 blog include ‘Reflections on BiFab’, ‘Unlocking the jobs potential of zero carbon’ and “Fuel Poverty, Energy and the fight for Climate Jobs’

After it’s first meeting future meetings of the Just Transition Commission will be on themed topics.

Next School Students Strikes are Friday 12 April

Notes from the February organising meetings

We met on 20th February in Glasgow and 21st February in Edinburgh.  Here’s the composite notes of the discussion at the two meetings.  If you have any questions about any of the points or if you’d like to get involved in  any of the proposed activity do email on triple.e.scot@gmail.com

Action points and information from the February Scot.E3 meetings in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Proposals for new briefings including:

  • Public Ownership and the proposed state energy company (AM, Glasgow to contribute) – MD, Glasgow to contact Andy Cumbers to see if he would write something for the blog.
  • Update on Fuel Poverty (MT, Edinburgh to contribute)
  • Housing – PC, Edinburgh to contact SH and IW to seek advice, help and information.

Other action

  • GH, Glasgow to report back on Glasgow City Council and Climate Emergency Declaration
  • AM and GH talking to XR Glasgow with a view to organising a Scot.E3 presentation to the group, AM also talking to Unite activist group
  • Agreed to publicise and organise a climate jobs bloc (suggested by activists from FOE Scotland) on the Edinburgh and Glasgow May Day marches (4th and 5th May) – PC, Edinburgh to source banner and t-shirts
  • BP, Edinburgh is liaising with ‘Lucas Plan’ groups in England over ScotE3 representation at a divestment event and a possible joint autumn conference in Scotland
  • BP to produce a draft response to the GMB position on Just Transition
  • PC to send Climate Jobs manifesto to Just Transition commission and seek and opportunity to contribute to the discussion
  • School student strikes – we handed out cards with ScotE3 website details at the Edinburgh rally and they were very popular. We should repeat this on 15th March when the next strikes are due. CM and PC are involved in Our Forth who have organised a banner making session for school students in Portobello on 10th March
  • Scottish TUC conference in Dundee (15th – 17th April) – agreed to leaflet conference PC and BP available (other volunteers welcome) and to hold a fringe meeting if possible BP to contact JP to see if he can speak, PC to find venue – agreed to produce conference packs for delegates if possible
  • Continue to work on the climate jobs pamphlet

Information

Since the January meetings – we have had the opportunity to join the panel at a Just Transition event organised by Bella Caledonia and DeSmog UK and contribute to a Transitions Edinburgh event

It’s likely that a climate jobs and education motion will go to the EIS conference in June

Scottish CND are organising days of action in 2019 to highlight the ways money saved by scrapping the Trident nuclear weapon programme could be better spent on essential public services in Scotland. March – Housing, April – Climate, May – Jobs, June – Infrastructure, July – NHS, August – Education

Next meetings: Edinburgh – Thursday 21 March 7pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace. Glasgow date to be confirmed – likely to be topic based public meeting

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School students protest at Scottish Parliament – Feb 15th https://www.flickr.com/photos/petepolitics/sets/72157706685945575

February organising meetings

Wednesday 20 February, 7pm at the Scottish CND office 77 Southpark Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8LJ

NB the venue is the SCND office – if you are walking up Southpark road from Great Western Road it’s on the left hand side tucked back from the road by the side of an ex(?) church building – you can see the peace symbol on the outside.

Thursday 21 January, 7pm at the Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre, 5 Upper Bow EH1 2JN
NB the Peace and Justice Centre is just down from Johnston Terrace or from the other direction just round the corner from the Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House
Come along and get involved in thinking through and planning the next steps in the campaign. You can see the notes of the last meetings on the blog. We’ll be looking at fuel poverty, climate jobs, new briefings and the content for a pamphlet. 

Notes from the January organising meetings

We met on 16th January in Glasgow and 17th January in Edinburgh.  Here’s the composite notes of the discussion at the two meetings.  If you’d like to get involved in  any of the proposed activity do email on triple.e.scot@gmail.com

  1. Outputs from the Just Transitions Conference in Edinburgh on 17th November 2018:
  • Videos of the plenary contributions – see scot.e3.wordpress.com
  • A draft manifesto for a Just Transition in Scotland. A first version, a synthesis of the discussion on 17th November, has been circulated. It is intended as a basis for further development. All suggestions welcome.
  • A pamphlet/online resource focused on climate jobs and just transition. This has yet to be started on, but we have much of the text already in the Briefings (there are now nine of these). It was agreed that a small team should be gathered for this task. PC agreed to lead on this ER and CM agreed to be critical readers and EC agreed to transcribe the text of Andrew Feinstein’s talk at the conference.
  1. We now have a simple constitution and a bank account (see details on website home page). For the latter we needed to submit a draft business plan. This was tabled and could be further developed. It was agreed that the plan should include explicit working aims, consistent with the implicit approach we’ve taken so far. These might look something like:

Scot.E3:

  • Aims to contribute to a mass social movement that will make a transition towards a zero-carbon economy possible – in doing so it works with environmental, trade union and community groups
  • Argues for transition policies that ensure social justice (Just Transition)
  • Campaigns for 100,000 Climate Jobs in Scotland
  • Focuses on education, agitation and organisation at a rank and file level to ensure that policy ideas are implemented with the urgency that is required
  • Provides a platform for sharing information, ideas and discussion
  1. The Just Transitions Conference Accounts were tabled, showing a balance of £0.40
  2. Actions to be addressed now:
  • Sharing the Draft Manifesto widely, identifying organisations to send it to, and encouraging them to discuss, debate, modify the draft and make it their own. A working group needs to be established for this. We already have three invitations to speak – from the Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh, the Fife Trades Council Women’s Conference in March, and Bella Caledonia
  • Set up a small team to write the pamphlet/online resource (see item 1 above)
  • Gather fund-raising ideas
  • Organise to attend the STUC conference in Dundee in April
  • Gather ideas for new briefings and other kinds of resources; the Economics of Just Transition was suggested as a subject of a briefing
  • Raise funds to upgrade the website so that it can support debate and discussion
  • Agreed to prioritise contributing to the debate and discussion around the Fuel Poverty bill that will be going through the Scottish Parliament – argue that it should include more urgent deadlines and should be integral to a developing strategy for Just Transition
  • Agreed to write a response to the criticism of just transition by GMB Scotland and to ask Common Space if they would publish it
  • Begin to think about another conference in 2019 – there was a suggestion that the theme might be alternative economic plans to support transition
  1. Dates of next meetings: Wednesday 20th February at 7.00pm in Glasgow, at Scottish CND office and Thursday 21st February at 7.00pm in Edinburgh, at the Peace and Justice Centre

The case for closing Hunterston

In June 2018 we published a briefing on the perilous state of the nuclear reactors at Hunterston and Torness.   The reactors at Hunterston have been offline since then while inspection of the graphite cylinders in the reactor core takes place. With around 28% of the core inspected the Ferret has now revealed that 370 major cracks have been found in the graphite core of reactor three and 200 cracks in the core of reactor four. To put this in context there are 3000 graphite blocks in each reactor.

EDF Energy who run the reactors intend to apply for permission to reopen production in March or April this year. In the view of environmental radiologist Ian Fairlie, who spoke at the Scottish Parliament and at meetings in Edinburgh and Glasgow this week such a move is fraught with risk. The level of damage to the reactor cores is such that they should be permanently shut down.

At the Edinburgh talk Ian noted that Hunterston is now probably the oldest operating nuclear reactor in the world. It first generated electricity in 1976 and was designed to run for 30 years. Currently it’s scheduled for closure in 2023. EDF have previously applied for five-year extensions and there is every likelihood they plan to do so again.

The cylindrical graphite blocks are critical to the stability and safety of the reactors. The cracks form in pairs, running the full length of the cylinders and splitting them apart. Under normal conditions the others around them hold the cracked blocks in place. However, a sudden outage, steam surge or earth tremor could result in a serious accident and a large release of radioactive gas. If other safety systems were to fail – and they are untested – there is a possibility of a catastrophic accident on the scale of Chernobyl.   The direction of the prevailing wind would take the radioactive plume across Glasgow, Edinburgh and most of the central belt.

plume

EDF are under political and economic pressure to keep the reactors operating. The political pressure comes from Westminster and a strong emphasis on nuclear. The economic pressure is arguably more acute. EDF are in a financial crisis, €37 billion in debt and needing more than €200 billion to bankroll commitments in construction, refurbishment and decommissioning. Hunterston and Torness, when operational, are a significant source of income to the firm.

The continued operation of these aging power stations is a real threat to the lives and well being of the Scottish population. Permanent closure and a focus on renewables is the safe and sustainable alternative.

Conference

Just Transitions: Employment, Energy and Environment

A one day conference on Saturday 17 November

The aim of the conference is to bring together rank and file trade unionists, and climate activists to debate and discuss the transition to a sustainable economy. The focus is on jobs, energy and the environment.   Contributors include Joe Pisani (Unite steward Balfour Beattie, Rosyth Dockyard and Unite Executive), Jonathan Neale (Campaign Against Climate change and coauthor of the Million Climate Jobs pamphlet), Andrew Feinstein (author, filmmaker and CAAT), Fliss Premu (REEL news) and Hazel Graham (Cumbrian climate activist). The agenda will cover climate change, transitions, job creation and defence divestment.

Sign up for the conference on Eventbrite

If you would like to book one or more children into the creche please email Zareen at tajzareenok@gmail.com with the names and ages of the children.  To ensure that we have sufficient creche workers bookings for the creche will close on 12th November.

If you are a member of an organisation that could sponsor the conference download the invitation letter here

You can download a poster/flyer to advertise the conference here

conference flyer.

 

Just Transitions – Edinburgh Premiere

Just Transition: A low carbon economy that benefits workers and communities

Just Transition is a new film from REEL News that looks how workers around the world are engaged with the struggle for a low carbon economy. The final section of the film focuses on Scotland and the recent fight by workers at BiFab to keep their jobs.

We’ll be showing the film at the Augustine Church on George 4th Bridge, 3pm Saturday 20th January.

After the film there’ll be plenty of time for discussion of the issues it raises.

Keep up to date on details of the event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1812607072365284/