"Green Jobs Charter": A trade union programme for the creation of one million climate change jobs

Presentation by Dr Gareth Dale, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University at the SGR conference, 24 October 2009

Abstract: The British Government’s ‘Low Carbon Transition Plan’ contains a number of worthwhile proposals but, at least with regard to the promised 1.2 million ‘green jobs’, is mostly hokum. This paper briefly defends that claim, before introducing an alternative transition plan: the ‘Climate Jobs Charter’. A recent initiative, its origins lie with the Trade Union group of the Campaign against Climate Change. The Charter lays out a detailed programme for the government-sponsored creation of one million climate jobs. These are not ‘spun’ jobs but actual jobs: human beings hired and paid directly by the government or through government grants or contracts. The report is divided into six chapters: energy, buildings, transport, manufacturing, economics, and campaigns. The first four of these propose investment programmes and other emissions-reduction measures, providing a detailed breakdown of the number of jobs created, the cost, and predicted emissions reductions. A practically-focused working document, it is aimed primarily at trade unionists but will also provide input into the wider discussion on climate change mitigation in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit. Although due for publication in December, its main findings will be previewed here.

Gareth Dale is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Brunel University. He previously held research and teaching positions at the London School of Economics and at Swansea University. His research is within the fields of political economy, social theory and social movements, and has focused in particular on East Germany, and on Karl Polanyi. He has published several articles on the political economy of climate change, and, a climate-change activist, has blogged on Climate Camp. He convenes the ‘public finance’ work group of the Green Jobs Commission.

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