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
On Wednesday 16th October, 7.30pm we have a public meeting/discussion as part of the Edinburgh World Justice Festival
We plan to explore what is meant by justice transition and reflect on the need to develop the definition. There’ll also be some film clips on struggles for just transition around the world.
We’ll finish with discussion on making just transition core to the politics and practice of the movement. Who we need to reach, how we can reach them and what are the priorities for action.
It’s just over a week now until the Climate Strike called for September 20th. Check out the Scottish Youth Climate Strike website for a link to details of actions all round Scotland. The Edinburgh Demo starts from the Meadows at 11am.
This video from REEL News gives some updates on solidarity action. You might also like to check out our model resolution and a video guide to raising climate issues in your workplace.
A post from REEL News
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 exascerbate current inequalities.
What we found were inspiring and visionary struggles all over the continent, led by working class communities of colour, with people organising just transitions and just recoveries themselves. Now, we’ll be presenting what we found in the form of a weekly online 11 episode series starting on Sunday April 14th – 7pm UK time, 3pm New York City time, Midday California time.
Episode 1 is about Alberta, Canada, where the long oil sands boom has come to an end. Falling oil prices are leading to thousands of job losses – which has started a serious conversation in the labour movement about transitioning away from oil to renewables. The need is becoming more urgent as the big oil sands companies look to maximise profits and slash even more jobs through automation. This film looks at a number of initiatives, the history of oppression of First Nations people to get the resources in the first place, and a rare chance to hear from oil sands workers themselves, including women and First Nations workers.
With the current growing uprising over climate change giving renewed hope, we’re hoping that this will not only inspire you further – but will also help a little in putting the idea of just transition at the forefront of the movement.
Reposted from REEL News
Huge demonstration in Bideford, North Devon this weekend, to stop the only merchant shipyard in the country from closing. All 200 workers are facing redundancy a few days before Christmas, and the knock-on effect for the local economy will be huge. And this shows the lunacy of modern capitalism – the Government urgently needs non-military ships built for the Royal Navy, but instead of giving the work to the highly skilled workforce at Appledore shipyard and keeping the shipyard open, they’re putting it internationally to competitive tender to get the lowest price.
On top of that, the Tories know they need to take drastic steps to move to renewable energy to stop catastrophic climate change – so why aren’t they immediately giving Appledore a contract to build all the offshore wind turbines and other infrastructure we’re going to desperately need, and instead pushing ahead with a dangerous fracking operation that is already causing tremors and will push up our carbon emissions?
This is also one of the few places left with a proper apprenticeship scheme, training up the highly skilled workers of the future – but the Tories and engineering multinational Babcock International want to just chuck all this in the bin in their race to the bottom.
This is a major dispute kicking off with national importance – get behind the Appledore workers and demand the shipyard stays open. You can start by signing the petition at https://www.change.org/p/save-appledore-shipyard before they and it in to Parliament tomorrow.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Just Transitions: Employment, Energy and Environment
Friday 12th October, 7.30pm Augustine United Church, George 4th Bridge, Edinburgh
Showing of the REEL News film, Just Transitions, followed by discussion
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/