Reports of Past Events

End Austerity Now: National Demo
June 20th 2015

On Saturday 20th June 250,000 people marched together to protest against the impact that ''austerity' - government cuts now and planned for the future are having on people's lives, particularly the most vulnerable.

Activists from the Campaign against Climate Change, Friends of the Earth, Reclaim the Power and others came together in a 'climate bloc'  because our chances of avoiding catastrophic climate change are also threatened by these short-sighted policies.

We have to invest in infrastructure across the UK that will give us a cleaner, safer, fairer future: renewable energy, public transport, warm homes for all. In doing this, much-needed jobs can be created. But instead, we are promised five years of cuts: cuts to the home insulation budget, cuts to bus services, cuts to cycling investment, and cuts to onshore wind subsidies, a vital form of clean energy. We can't afford to wait five years: scientists are telling us that urgent action is needed now to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Government must rethink its frantic cost-cutting for the sake of future generations.

Time to Act!
7th March 2015

The demonstration on March 7th - two months before the general election, and nine months before the COP 21 climate talks in Paris - aimed to put pressure on political parties and raise the profile of climate change. On the day, over 20,000 people took to the streets of London to demand bold action on climate change.

Jointly organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change and a dedicated team of amazing volunteers, Time To Act featured a rally which included a range of speakers but also encouraged the theme of the day to go beyond words, into actions. Dancing polar bears reclaimed the space at at Heathrow, banners were dropped at Trafalgar Square and off Westminster Bridge, the Tate was challenged by Art Not Oil for it's BP sponsorship and a giant carbon bubble was returned to the Shell HQ. During the march itself Occupy Democracy and Reclaim The Power orchestrated the largest ever recorded climate sit-down.

The march showed that we’re moving forwards. Among the 20,000+ people that marched, there were trade unionists, young Muslims, students, families, old-school green groups, churches, anarchists, feminists and so many others... walking together, demonstrating the amazing diversity of the climate movement. Among the inspiring speakers at the end rally were Chris Baugh from PCS and Matt Wrack from FBU.

Report on Shipyards, Jobs and Climate Meeting.
2nd April 2014

Close to fifty people, including local trade unionists and climate campaigners, attended a CACCTU public meeting on “Shipyards, Jobs and Climate Change: Fighting for an Alternative” in Portsmouth's central library on 2 April.

The meeting, organised jointly with Portsmouth and Southampton Trades Councils, was called in response to the announcement by BAE Systems of the closure of the historic Royal Navy dockyards in Portsmouth by the end of 2015. The closure will bring to the end 500 years of shipbuilding in the city and mean the loss of 940 shipbuilding jobs as well as hundreds of indirect job losses in the supply chain.

The decision to introduce staff cuts by BAE, Britain’s largest defence contractor, will also mean 835 redundancies in shipbuilding and related industries in Glasgow, Rosyth, and Filton, near Bristol, and the loss of irreplaceable specialist skills.

Suzanne Jeffery, speaking on behalf of CACCTU, put the case for keeping open the yards by switching to the building of renewables such as wind and wave turbines. She put the argument firmly in the context of the conclusions of the third IPCC report which called for the rapid decarbonisation of electricity generation as part of a mitigation strategy if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

In the discussion that followed, speakers included Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the Leader of the City Council, and members of shipyard and other unions, including Unite, Unison and RMT. Many contributors pointed to the ready transferability of shipbuilding skills to the manufacture of wind and wave turbines and suggested that this strategy needed to form a stronger element in the unions’ campaigns to reduce jobs losses.

Currently too much emphasis was being placed by the unions involved in the discussions, and by the politicians, on maintaining the building of combat ships when the world has more important priorities.

Following a proposal from Bobby Noyes, Secretary of Southampton Trades Councils, a working group is to be set up involving trade unionists from around the Solent, specialist academics from local universities, and interested environmental activists, to draft a detailed report on the kind of climate jobs that could be created in the yards and the kind of action that needs to be taken by the Government and others to achieve this. They will also be looking for the support of local councillors and MP’s.

AGM 2014
26th April 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the Trade Union Group was held from 12.00 – 3.00 on Saturday 26th April in Committee Room 4, First Floor, Camden Town Hall (Judd Street) entrance. This is immediately across Euston Road from St Pancras station and is fully accessible.

The AGM is open to any trade unionist interested in supporting the work of Campaign against Climate Change and/or its TU Group,  and also climate activists who have worked with us over a year.

Nominations were invited for the following positions: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Press Officer.

For a Future that doesn't Cost the Earth - the International Fight for Climate Jobs Conference
20th September 2014

The conference was timed to coincide with the People's Climate March that was taking place the same weekend in New York with support from American trade unions and the involvement of British trade unionists, too. This was prior to the UN climate talks in NY from 23rd September. The conference itself drew international speakers and contributions via skype from the organisers of the march, alongside other and British and American trade unionists also on the march. We also aimed to encourage climate jobs groups in other countries to hold their own meetings and conferences at this time, with whom we linked up with in the duration of the conference.

Two lead speakers per workshop with additional invited contributions from within the audience.
a) "Unpacking Climate Jobs"
b) "Building a Better Future by Campaigning for Climate Jobs"
c) "Students, Environment, and Climate jobs"

Confronting the Climate Crisis - A Conference Bringing Together Climate Scientists, Trade Unionists and Environmental Activists
8th June 2013


11am Opening address - Sue Ferns (Director of Communications and Research, Prospect/ Co-chair of Trade Unions Sustainable Development Advisory Committee) for TUC

11.20 Opening plenary: How serious is the climate crisis and how could it affect us? A briefing for trade unionists

Prof Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

12.20 Workshops 1

1.      The melting Arctic: what will it mean? Speaker: Dr Michel Tsamados (Research Associate, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Reading University)

2.      Weird weather: is this the new normal? Speakers: Dr Richard Allan (Reader in Climate Science, University of Reading), Dave Green (Fire Brigades Union national officer for floods)

3.      Climate change: the threat to agriculture and food supply: Speakers: Kirtana Chandrasekaran (Food Sovereignty Programme Co-ordinator, Friends of the Earth International), Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, CACCTU)

1.20 Lunch

2.00 Second Plenary: Fighting climate change and for climate jobs, internationally & locally

Andreas Ytterstad (Union of Concerned Scientists, Norway), Dr Lara Skinner (Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, USA), Martin Empson (Million Climate Jobs Campaign), Ewa Jasiewicz (No Dash for Gas). Speakers from South African Trade Unions and Canadian indigenous movement linked through Skype.

3.00 Workshops 2

1.      Fighting for climate jobs in the unions - Speaker: Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary, PCS)

2.      Uniting trade unions with community campaigns - Speakers: Graham Petersen (UCU national environment co-ordinator/ Greener Jobs Alliance), Peter Robinson (Jobs and Climate Alliance), Jane Thomas (Senior England Campaigner, Friends of the Earth)

3.      Changing the Government’s climate  policy - Speakers: Joan Walley MP (Chair, House of Commons Environmental Scrutiny Committee), John McDonnell MP, Philip Pearson (TUC Senior Policy Officer for Climate Change and Energy)

4.00 Closing Plenary: Countering austerity - the fight for climate jobs(“Question Time” panel format)

Confirmed panellists: Manuel Cortez (General Secretary, TSSA), Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary PCS), Martin Mayer (National Executive, Unite), Suzanne Jeffery (Chair, CACCTU), Jonathan Stevenson (Fuel Poverty Action), Joan Walley MP, Will Duckworth (Deputy Leader, Green Party)

2012 brought more and more news of a worsening climate. From droughts in the United States and Australia, to heavy rains and flooding, crop failures across the globe and an almost complete collapse of summer sea ice in the Arctic. At the same time governments are back tracking on commitments to deal with carbon emissions and the mitigation of the effects of global warming.

At the same time, governments are dealing with the global economic crisis with further austerity, leading to unemployment, cuts in public services and further attacks on working people.

The Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group has published two reports on the potential for "One Million Climate Jobs" to deal both with unemployment and to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. This, our fourth conference, will explore how we can continue to fight for these jobs in an era of austerity. But it will also be an opportunity for trade unions to listen to climate scientists and understand what is happening to our weather and our environment.

Speakers include: Professor Kevin Anderson, Deputy Director of the Tynedale Centre for Climate Change Research; Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA; Chris Baugh, Deputy General Secretary, PCS; Suzanne Jeffrey, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group; Andreas Ytterstad, Union of Concerned Scientists (Norway) and author of Norwegian Climate Jobs report; Dr Michel Tsamados, Research Associate, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Reading University (personal capacity)

Conference hosted by London Metropolitan University UCU and Climate Action Group, supported by CWU, FBU, PCS, UNITE, TSSA, UCU


Climate Jobs Events at the People's Summit during the Rio+20 Conference.
20TH - 22ND June 2012

(1) How Climate Jobs can help solve the economic and environmental crises; 18th June: 10-12, Auditorio Menor; and, 12-13.30, Tenda 22

(2) How we can build a Global Climate Jobs Network; 21st June: 11.30-13.30, Tenda 5

In order to solve the environmental crisis we face, we need to create millions of jobs that can reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, increase renewable energy generation, reduce energy use and expand public transport. In South Africa, Great Britain, Canada and other countries, campaigns for Climate Jobs are bringing together environmentalists, trade unionists and organisations of the unemployed. Come and hear about these campaigns and discuss how we can create a global network uniting workers and environmentalists which can help solve the economic and environmental crises. Climate jobs are a key bridge to a low carbon, sustainable society.

Supported by:
One Million Climate Jobs campaign (South Africa); Green Economy Network (Canada); Concerned Scientists (Norway); Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (USA); One Million Climate Jobs campaign (Britain); Campaign Against Climate Change (Britain)

Email: Download a leaflet here. We're on facebook here.

  • Fighting for a million new jobs

  • Fighting the threat of catastrophic climate change

Climate Jobs Caravan at Parliament on Sat 12 May 2012

"At long last somebody is bringing a positive solution to the economic and climate crises we face."

We face an ongoing economic crisis with unemployment heading towards three million and one in five young people out of work. We also face the prospect of catastrophic climate change which will pose an even greater threat to the future of our children and grandchildren.
We can start to tackle both these problems now by forcing the Government to create a million new jobs dealing directly with the introduction of clean sources of renewable energy and greater energy efficiency in our buildings and transport systems. By expanding cheap public transport, insulating our homes, and training people in green skills. All this can be done for a fraction of the amount the Government has put into keeping the banks afloat.
The Climate Jobs Caravan visited towns and cities across the UK to raise public discussion of how jobs lost locally can be replaced through the creation of the new industries and services that we need to ensure an environmentally sustainable future. Read more about the events around the country or download the report as a Word document. Find out more about local campaigning following the climate caravan by emailing one of the local contacts below or

We are grateful to the following organisations for their support for the Caravan tour:

TSSA, PCS, UCU, Camden Unison, Portsmouth Unison, Southampton TUC, Brent TUC, Birmingham TUC, Islington NUT, East London Teachers Association, GMB @ PCS, SE Anglia CWU, Green Jobs Alliance, UCU South Thames College, UCU London Retired Members, Stockport Unison, Manchester Unison, Bolton Unison, Liverpool UCU, Cardiff Health Unite, CWU North West No. 1, Islington TUC.

We would also like to thank Sound Vs Systems for helping us by providing the PA systems for the vans:

Sound Vs Systems is a non profit tech collective, who's aim is to assist grass roots and activist groups in raising awareness and effecting social change. Creating sound systems out of recycled and reclaimed materials, powering them using 12v sustainable energy and provide excellent sound quality from waste that would otherwise be landfill.


Itinerary & local contacts


Route 1

Route 2

12 May – Edinburgh

12 May – London


13 May - Newcastle

13 May – Coventry

14 May - Derby

14 May – Cardiff
Caravan outside TSSA conference in cardiff with General Secretary, Manuel Cortes and other activists

15 May – Leeds

15 May – Birmingham

16 May – Stoke-on-Trent

Caravaneers meet locals in Hanley, Stoke.

16 May – Cambridge


17 May – Norwich

Campaigning in Norwich

18 May – Sheffield

18 May – Oxford

19 May – Liverpool


20 May - Huddersfield


21 May – Bolton

21 May – Southampton

22 May – Wigan

22 May – Portsmouth

23 May – Blackpool

23 May – Brighton

24 May – Lancaster

24 May - Redhill

25 May – Manchester

25 May – London

Climate Jobs Caravan Logo


The Caravan for Climate Jobs
12th - 25th May 2012

Following the example of the Trans Africa Caravan of Hope, which carried the message of climate justice to the UN talks in Durban, the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group organised a Climate Jobs Caravan here in Britain. Based on the Million Climate Jobs report, produced with the assistance of the CWU, PCS, TSSA & UCU trade unions, the Caravan aimed to highlight how creating climate jobs can help us tackle the twin crises of the ecomony and climate change.

The Caravan toured simultaneously in the North and South of the UK.





Send the Caravan off on its northern route: 12.15pm, Scottish Parliament with Patrick Harvey MSP and Sarah Boyack MSP
More information from Matthew Crighton 07851 348 426
Download flyer here (word doc).


Send the Caravan off on its southern route: 10.20am, Old Palace Yard, Opposite Houses of Parliament with John McDonnell MP, Graham Petersen UCU
Download London flyer here (word doc).


A Million Climate Jobs - The Real Alternative for the North East - Public Meeting and Debate

The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne (next to High Level Bridge) 3pm
Speakers include: John Stewart (Chair, Campaign Against Climate Change); Shirley Ford (Regional Co-ordinator: NE Green Party), plus speakers from local trade unions and activist groups.
Supported by UCU, PCS, Gateshead Local Government UNISON
Further information from or

CARDIFF - Monday 14 May

Public Meeting: 6pm, Poets Corner, 56 City Road Cardiff CF24 CDN, Speakers include Manuel Cortes from the TSSA rail union
Further information from

DERBY - Monday 14 May

The Quad, The Market Place. 7pm
Speakers include Ken Usher (involved in Bombardier, RMT) & Keith Sonnet, Asst. General Secretary of Unison

Further information from 01332 558 338 Download Derby leaflet here.

LEEDS - Tuesday 15 May

"Fighting for a Million New Jobs & Fighting the threat of Catastrophic Climate Change"
Leeds Met Uni "Broadcasting Place Building", Room AG2. Woodhouse Lane, City Campus. LS2 9EN 6.30pm
Speakers include Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary of the PCS Union), Martin Empson (CaCC)
Further information from

BIRMINGHAM - Tuesday 15 May

Public Meeting at the Council House, Victoria Square at 7pm
Further details from

CAMBRIDGE - Wednesday 16 May

Lunchtime Public Meeting, hosted by Cambs Campaign for Better Transport and Cambridge Friends of the Earth. 12-2pm
Unitarian Church at the corner of Emmanuel Road and Victoria Street, close to the bus station. Entrance will be via Victoria Street.
Speakers: Ken Montague -- Climate Caravan; Richard Hebditch -- Campaign for Better Transport; Susan van de Ven and Tariq Sadiq -- opposition county councillors.

STOKE - Wednesday 16 May

Come and find out about the Climate Jobs Caravan, the One Million Climate Jobs campaign and FairTrade.
10.30am - 5.30pm, Old Hall Street, Hanley, opposite Argos. Download a flyer here.

NORWICH - Thursday 17 May

Climate jobs –  a people friendly response to credit crunch, climate crisis and austerity

May 17th will be Climate Jobs Day in Norwich, with the touring Climate Job Centre in the Amphitheatre from 11am to 6pm.
Drop in and see  how creating climate jobs can help us tackle the twin crises of the economy and climate change.
(Report and exhibition produced by Trade Union Group of Campaign against Climate Change)

A Public Meeting at The Curve, 7pm "How to Create a Million Climate Jobs"
Speakers: Fiona Brookes (Campaign Against Climate Change), Adrian Ramsey (Deputy National Leader of the Green Party), Mark Hughes, lecturer & UCU member.

Download Norwich leaflet here. Contact 07711 298 214

OXFORD - Thursday 18 May

The Climate Jobs Caravan will be coming to Oxford on 18 May. The Caravan is scheduled to arrive at Gloucester Green at 12.30pm, and will be there until 2.30 with speakers and stalls.
The Caravan will depart for the BMW Plant at about 2.30pm
At 7.30pm at Wadham College there will be a debate about  whether the private sector will create sufficient climate jobs and if not what role could be played by a National Climate Service, and other state interventions.  We will be helped by experts on agriculture and food, the building industry, economics, the trade unions and the (re)training for new jobs in all sectors of the low carbon economy.
To find out more or get involved, contact Nicholas Evans, or Daniel Scharf,

SHEFFIELD - Friday 18 May and Saturday 19 May

Friday 18 May, 1- 6 pm; Climate Caravan, Tudor Square (by Crucible Theatre) with stalls and info.
6.30-8.30pm; Public Meeting: “One Million Climate Jobs”, Quaker  Meeting House, St James Street S1 2EW, speakers include: John Stewart , CaCC Trade Union Group

Sat 19 May, 9.30am-12 Workshop: “An Economy for the 99%”

Further Details: Joan Miller 0114 2498613

LIVERPOOL - Saturday 19 May

Daytime - Williamson Square - 10am - 5pm - Climate Jobs Centre in Caravan

  • Stalls from organisations, including CCC, Friends of the Earth, Green Party, Greenpeace, Student Action for Refugees, Friends of Park, allotment groups
  • Bike Doctor & Cycle awareness activities; Composting activities; Foodcycle cook for us; Circle of Silence - Refugees & Climate Change; Cycle & produce your own electricity activity, plus other stalls and activities tbc

Evening - film debate 7.30pm - Fracking & Climate Jobs at Friends Meeting House (tbc) plus stalls and refreshments.

 Fracking Hell film followed by speakers (tbc) on fracking followed by One Million Climate Jobs film & public debate.

 Conclusion by showing One Million Climate Jobs with public debate

Further details for Liverpool

HUDDERSFIELD - Sunday 20th May

12pm-2pm  Climate Jobs Caravan in Slaithwaite, Carr Lane Car Park (Next to the Canal)
An event co-organised with Marsden and Slaithwaite Transition Town.
Come along and watch the One Million Climate Jobs film in the back of the Caravan van, learn from MASTT about their Warmer Homes project and hear about the campaign.
3.30-4.45pm Walking Tour of Renewables and low energy Newsome.
Green Councillor Andrew Cooper will lead a walking Energy tour of Newsome explaining the history and politics behind different sites!
Arrive at 4.45pm for 5.00pm start (event finishes at 6.30pm) Newsome Scout Hut. Newsome Rd South Climate Jobs Caravan
Public Meeting   'The role of government in the race out of carbon'  
Chaired by David Browning, Kirklees Environment Partnership.
Speakers John Stewart Chair of the Campaign Against Climate Change and former chair of HCAN, the group that successfully opposed the Third Runway at Heathrow, Andrew Cooper Green Party, Leader of Green group on Kirklees Council, Adrian Cruden on The New Economics Foundation's Green New Deal, John Drewery Huddersfield TUC, Edgar Holroyd-Doveton Kirklees Independent councillor, Mehboob Khan Labour, Leader of Labour group on Kirklees Council. Please note: Every councillor in Kirklees and every MP in Kirklees was invited to participate in this event.
Further details for Huddersfield


10.30 Caravan vists to Southampton Science Park to meet CC researchers
11.30 to Elliotts Direct, a building materials supplier setting up a Low Carbon, sustainable products programme.
12 to Portswood Cycles supplier of pedal and electric cycles. Possible escort of Caravan to
12.30 Guildhall Square – permission to park in the square until 9pm
1pm Local Labour MP Alan Whitehead to open the proceedings with a short video showing and speech in the Sir James Matthews building which forms one side of Guildhall Square. Stalls to be set up in the foyer for the rest of the day.
2-7pm showing of video, stalls, visits to Caravan by public.
7pm Public Meeting in Sir JM building with Hanna Thomas (Ortesha Project); John Stewart (Campaign Against Climate Change) plus other local speakers.

Further details for Southampton from

BOLTON - Monday 21 May

Public Meeting, 8pm, Friends Meeting House, 50 Silverwell St, BL1 1PP map here
Speakers include, Bolton Trades Council, Green Party, Julie Hilling MP (invited).

PORTSMOUTH - Tuesday 22 May

Commercial Road Precinct, Arundel St, between Debenhams & Burtons
Climate Caravan roadshow: 9.30am - 4.30pm, Mountbatten Fountain, Commercial Rd Precinct/Arundel St, Portsmouth PO1 1BT

Public Meeting 7pm, Room F, Central Library, Portsmouth, PO1 2DX (hosted by Portsmouth Trades Union Council)
Speakers include: Manuel Cortes, General Secretary, TSSA; Hanna Thomas, Otesha Project, Suzanne Jeffrey, Chair, Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group.
Further information from Chris Price 079 0188 2557 or or

WIGAN - Tuesday 22 May

Caravan Outside Leigh Town Hall from 10am - 4pm
Public Meeting, 7.30pm Leigh Labour Club, Abbey Road, WN7 1EU

BRIGHTON - Wednesday 23 May

Sussex University Environment Society open meeting: One Million Climate Jobs - Transforming Our Economy and Preventing Runaway Climate Change” 12.30pm-2pm

Speakers: Hanna Thomas, Otesha Project UK; Ken Montague, Climate Jobs Caravan; Gareth Dale, Campaign against Climate Change

Arts A1 Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton

Map (pdf) here.

PCS annual conference- Green fringe: climate jobs caravan
5.30pm, Syndicate 2, Brighton Conference Centre

Chair: Paula Brown, PCS vice-president
Speakers: Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party; Chris Baugh, PCS assistant general secretary; Suzanne Jeffery, chair, CaCC TU group; Will Cottrell, chair, Brighton Energy Co-operative; Clara Paillard, PCS branch chair, National Museums Liverpool

BLACKPOOL - Wednesday 23 May

Public Meeting - 7:30pm Can we create jobs in Blackpool without Fracking?
Ruskin Hotel 55-61 Albert Road Blackpool FY1 4PW
Further information from

LANCASTER - Thursday 24 May

Public Forum 7:30pm in the Music Room at the Storey CIC, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster.
Introduced by Martin Empson, from the Campaign against Climate Change.
The caravan in the market square 12 to 4:30 with Trade Union and Green Organisation stalls.

On 22nd and 23rd film showing of One Million Climate Jobs film plus shorts including Bulgarian fracking protest & Copenhagen 2010. On 23rd Shaun Dey from Reel News will be talking about the making of the films.
Further information from

MANCHESTER - Friday 25 May

Meet the Caravan and find out more about Climate Jobs:
10.30 - 3.30 - Piccadilly Gardens, Queen Victoria Statue
4.00 - 5.30 - Cavendish St, corner of Oxford Road
6.30 - 7.00 - Albert Square
Join the Caravan cycle tour around the town and the universities:
6.00 from Cavendish Street, corner of Oxford Road

Public Meeting at 7pm in Friends Meeting House, Mount St, speakers include Richard Lease, leader of Manchester Council, Peter Allen (Manchester Green Parrty), Karen Evans (UCU) & Martin Empson (CaCC TU group)
Further information from

LONDON - Friday 25 May

One Million Jobs, Now Minister! 12.30pm, Dept of Work & Pensions, Tothill St, SW1H 9NA

The nationwide tour comes to an end with a demand that Chris Grayling, the Minister for Work and Pensions, gets serious about job creation. Join us for a colourful lunchtime event.

Public Meeting, 7pm Friends Meeting House, St. Martin's Lane, off Trafalgar Square. Speakers include Tony Kearns (Sen. Dep. Gen Sec of CWU), Jean Lambert, (Green Party), Murad Qureshi (Chair, GLA environmental committee), Professor Barbara Harris-White (Million Climate Jobs Report), Suzanne Jeffrey (Chair, CaCC TU group), Sachi Lloyd (author), Graham Petersen (UCU), Greenpeace.

Report from Jan 29th Climate Jobs workshop in Newcastle, organsed by the PCS:

Our PCS branch environment committee hosted the first MCJ workshop in the north east at the end of January. A dozen hardy souls braved the cold weather to listen to and debate the major themes of the MCJ agenda with David Byrne, one of the pamphlet's contributors. A good cross-section of union reps, environmental campaigners and community activists ensured it was a lively and thought provoking session.

David Byrne pointd out that MCJ was a timely project, containing a coherent alternative to the Tories neo-liberal agenda, with many similarities to proposals like the Green New Deal and Keynesian economic strategies. What is particularly distinctive about MCJ is its call for a new NHS style National Climate Service, one able to respond to the scale of the challenge posed by climate change and deliver 1 million climate jobs more effectively and rapidly than the halting efforts of 'the market'. Regionally the north east would be well placed to reap the rewards of such a project, with its renewable energy research centres, deep water port facilities, and a legacy of engineering skills readily transferable to renewable energy production.

The subsequent debate covered a wide terrain. Could MCJ become the centrepiece of the current swathe of anti-cuts protests / campaigns, acting as a positive alternative to existing positions of ' no cuts' 'save our services' ? Do recent proposals to privatise our forests give us one way to get masses of people actively engaged in debates and campaigns around climate change? Is MCJ ultimately enough - or do we need a more radical systemic challenge? Many political questions, that will need to be debated, worked through and resolved in the coming struggles against the predatory forces of capitalist profiteers and their neo-liberal political shock troops.


CaCC Climate Forum



Martin Empson, Treasurer of the Campaign Against Climate Change speaks on Climate Jobs at the CaCC forum, 30th October 2010 

Climate Jobs pamphlet launched in House of Commons

The updated version of the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group's pamphlet One Million Climate Jobs was launched last Thursday in the House of Commons.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, Jonathan Neale for the campaign, the TUC's Philip Pearson, John Mc Donnell and Chris Baugh of the PCS set out the arguments.

Jonathan explained that the pamphlet argues that the government should hire one million people in a year to work in jobs that will reduce the amount of carbon that goes into the atmosphere. This would cost what by current standards is a paltry £18-20bn. As Jonathan said, if the planet was a bank it would be too big to fail and governments would find the cash with no trouble at all. He observed that although we have grown used to thinking that catastrophic climate change is a generation or so away it may be on us sooner than we think. As evidence he pointed to the floods in Pakistan, the failure of the Asian monsoons and the droughts in Syria and Iraq which have displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Caroline Lucas welcomed the rapprochement between trade unionists, Greens and environmental activists which has happened in recent years and went on to suggest that workers need to be involved in planning a carbon neutral future. In her opinion the pamphlet provides the answer to the question "what's your alternative?" She also raised the question of what kind of development and growth are possible on a planet with finite resources.

Philip Pearson from the TUC argued that the Con Dems will axe one million jobs with their cuts strategy and the losses will be equally divided between the private and public sectors. He went into some detail about the impact of Con Dem policy on even the modest efforts at carbon reduction made by New Labour.

John McDonnell offered the view big crises and opportunities come along every twenty five rather than fifty years. In his opinion the ruling class is trying to increase the rate of profit by driving down wage and creating a reserve army of labour and the cuts that they plan to make will exacerbate climate change.

Next week, he explained, the debate on cuts will move from abstraction to reality for millions of people. He predicted that this is only the first wave and the markets will force Osborne to return next spring with more. For our side this is a moment of potential opportunity and a chance to move the debate onto how the system has failed. The unions will be the site of the most consistent source of mass opposition and the growing connection between the unions and the environmental movement is a big step forward.

John reckons that we are now entering a revolutionary period in which millions will begin to question how the capitalist system works. He also argued that the new Labour leadership will have to listen to the voices of millions of people who will be opposing the cuts and that the climate jobs programme set out in the pamphlet has a possibility of being adopted by this movement.