This branch notes the urgent need for action on the climate emergency, both in response to existing negative impacts such as extreme weather, fires, droughts, floods, and loss of habitat and species; and to avoid catastrophic and irreversible damage caused by global heating.
We note that big business, the military, and the rich are responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions, while workers and the world’s poor are disproportionately at risk. A just transition to a decarbonised economy, one that protects the lives, livelihoods, and rights of workers and the poor, is the only way the movement against climate chaos will secure the mass support it needs to win, and to avoid a rich minority protecting themselves at the expense of the planet and the vast majority.
We note that the UN ‘COP’ climate change conferences have become a focus for campaigners, that COP26 will be taking place in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021, and that many organisations are already making plans.
We resolve to:
Organise to make COP26 in Glasgow, 9-19 November 2021, a focus of campaigning for effective action on the climate emergency.
Work with local trade unions and environmental organisations to arrange discussions locally and within workplaces about practically how we can prepare for COP26.
Call on Brunel University to declare a climate emergency and to involve unions in planning, implementing, and monitoring to rapidly reduce carbon emissions to zero.
Call on Brunel University to recognise UCU environmental reps, give them work time for their activities, and act vigorously to reduce the reliance on fossil energy of Brunel University and its staff.
Create climate action groups at workplace level and within union structures.
Look for opportunities for unions, communities, and the climate movement to work together, for example for improved housing and public transport.
Call on the UCU to carry out a major exercise to understand the potential positive and negative impacts of the climate crisis and responses to it on employment.
Call on the UCU and universities to work rapidly toward removing all pressure on academics and managers to take flights, unless with battery-powered aircraft.
Discuss what climate-related demands to include in collective bargaining, including ones which could be the basis of a lawful ‘trade dispute’ under current legislation and to call on the UCU to develop guidance on this.
Campaign for a legal right to strike and to repeal all legislation that makes it harder to strike over climate and decarbonisation issues.
Ensure that the UCU is visible as a relevant and useful organisation within the climate movement.
Demand colossal public investment in the jobs required to address the climate emergency, including in renewable energy, housing, and public transport.
Demand support for people coping with or fleeing the consequences of climate breakdown, whether internally within Britain or from abroad.
Send this motion to our local trades union council, to Hillingdon Council, and to the UCU.