2019 Conference Report – Simon Pirani

In the second plenary session of the conference Simon Pirani and Mary Church reflected on the growth of the climate movement and the challenges we face. This post includes video of most of Simon’s contribution. He began by reflecting on the connections between some of the struggles for just transition highlighted in the REEL News films and the onslaught on working class communities that took place in the Miner’s Strike of 1984/5. Miners were fighting for their communities and lives and livelihoods. He argued that in the context of climate crisis we are defending communities no less than we were in 1984/1985.

Simon was clear that there is a still an argument to win. Some trade unionists suggest that jobs and climate action are in opposition. He argued that this a false choice – without system change we face disaster on an unimaginable scale – our fight is for effective action and social justice. Each depends on the other.

2019 Conference Report – Climate Rebels

The first two sessions of the conference aimed to set the scene for the discussion on the politics and practice of just transition that followed.  First up was Shaun Day from REEL News.  The idea of just transition has deep roots in the USA and goes back to the 1990’s.

In 2018, Reel News went on a 14 week tour of North America to look at grassroots struggles around climate change, particularly struggles around a “just transition” from fossil fuels to renewable energy, where workers and communities control the process so that they benefit from the transition, and around “just recovery” – recovery from extreme weather events which do not exacerbate current inequalities.
The documentary films that they made, while in the US, record inspiring and visionary struggles all over the continent, led by working class communities of colour, with people organising just transitions and just recoveries themselves.

Shaun showed short extracts from eight of the American Climate Rebels films:

Building a social and solidarity economy in Jackson, Mississippi 

Taking on the oil giant Chevron in Richmond, California

Fighting injustice, pollution, environmental damage and police oppression in Los Angeles

People United for Sustainable Housing in Buffalo

Kentucky Miners fighting for renewable energy

Towards a zero carbon, zero waste city – New York

Hurricane Harvey – just recovery in Texas

Minnesota – stopping the tar sands pipeline


Image by Leslie Peterson CC BY NC 2.0  Stand with Standing Rock

Conference creche deadline

In order to ensure that we have the right level of support on the day of the ScotE3 conference we are not able to take creche bookings after 5pm on Wednesday 13th.  If you want to book a creche place please email triple.e.scot@gmail.com before then.

conference flyerv3

Building Worker Power

On the Wednesday following the ScotE3 conference on Saturday 16th November the Scottish Trades Union Congress is holding an important event in Glasgow. Contact Louise Ireland, lireland@stuc.org.uk for booking details,

 Building Worker Power in the Context of the Climate Crisis: An STUC Energy Conference

 Wednesday 20th November, 2019

9.00 am – 4.30 pm

The Lighthouse, Mitchell Lane, Glasgow

energy graphic

Draft conference programme available

The programme for the Scot.E3 conference on Saturday 16th November is now available for viewing and download.

Bookings can be made on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/just-transition-employment-energy-and-environment-2019-tickets-68768192515  and there’s also a Facebook Event at  https://www.facebook.com/events/1133891030332559/  If you are in position to share the event it would be really helpful.