Building Worker Power in the Context of the Climate Crisis: An STUC Conference on Energy – 20th November
Leading researchers, academics, industry experts, trade unionists, and politicians will gather for an STUC Conference on Energy on Wednesday 20th November from 9.00am to 4.30pm in the Lighthouse, Mitchell Lane, Glasgow.
It comes as the political debate over climate change steps up another gear ahead of the election. With a range of political parties committing to earlier carbon emission targets, it will ask: is there sufficient political commitment for the massive investment required to deliver a Just Transition? Or will workers in Scotland once again be left behind?
How the Trade Union movement rises to these challenges is crucial. Far from depending on the good will of political parties, workers are preparing to build the industrial and political strength to win the changes in energy production that are vital for our communities and country, and for working class people across the world who will be the first to suffer from the devastation wrought by climate change and energy privilege.
With workshops and plenary sessions presenting a diverse range of views on energy, climate change and trade unionism, this Conference will bring together researchers, academics, and industry experts with trade unionists from the energy sector and the wider trade union movement.
With contributions from politicians as well as distinguished academics, environmental NGOs and leading trade unionists from the STUC, Unite the Union, Unison, GMB, Prospect and RMT, the conference will not shy away from tough and tricky issues about the future of gas, divestment and diversification. Workers’ debate on these subjects looks set to shape the union agenda on energy for 2020, a year that will see Scotland put in the spotlight of climate debate with UN Climate Change Talks in Glasgow.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary stated:
“We know that in order to stop climate change, we need to drastically cut carbon emissions. We are also clear that workers and communities should not pay the price for these changes, in Scotland and beyond.
“Decent heating systems for low income families need to be decarbonised and remain affordable. Scottish producers need to be winning good quality unionised jobs in the low-carbon supply chain, which are currently being sent offshore halfway around the world to the detriment of the environment.
“Public ownership, nationalisation and workers’ control over industry are back on the agenda for the first time in a generation. Workers and unions will be looking at connected and conflicting priorities in Scotland for bringing strategic assets back into public hands and workers’ control. And just as urgent, we will look at strategies for organising effectively to take action in the power sector. This conference will be critical for setting this agenda going forward and leading the fight during the climate crisis.”
FULL PROGRAMME 9.00 am - Registration (tea/coffee)
9.30 am - Welcome & Introductory Remarks, Dave Moxham, STUC Deputy General Secretary
9.50 am - Keynote Speaker: Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform followed by Q&A
10.20 am - Breakout Sessions (sessions will run concurrently)
Decarbonising Heat: When, Where and How? Chair: Gary Smith, Scottish Secretary, GMB Speakers: Mark Lappin, Independent Energy Consultant Professor Jan Webb, Heat and the City, University of Edinburgh Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of Carbon Capture and Storage, University of Edinburgh
Ensuring Good Work in the Low-Carbon Supply Chain Chair: Richard Hardy, Nat.Secretary, Prospect & Just Transition Commissioner Speakers: Daniel Crimes, Policy Officer, National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Mika Minio Paluello, Transition Economics Professor Mike Danson, Heriot-Watt University
Public Transport’s Role in Fighting Climate Change Chair: Jackson Cullinane, Political Officer, Unite the Union/STUC President Speakers: Mick Hogg, National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Pat McIlvogue, Unite the Union Gavin Thomson, Friends of the Earth Scotland Rebecca Menzies, Get Glasgow Moving
11.40 am - Tea/Coffee break
11.50 am - Organising in the Energy Sector Chair: Jake Molloy, Regional Organiser, RMT Speakers: Roz Foyer, National Organising Co-ordinator, Unite the Union Hazel Nolan, GMB
1.00 pm - Lunch
1.30 pm - Intervention and Ownership – Priorities for Public Policy Chair: Stephen Smellie, Depute Convenor, UNISON Speakers: Vera Weghmann, Research Fellow, PSIRU, University of Greenwich Matthew Lay, National Energy Officer, UNISON
3.00 pm - Keynote Speaker: Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Climate Change, Claudia Beamish MSP followed by Q&A
3.30 pm - Final Panel and Plenary: Reflections on the day and implications for a Just Transition in Scotland Chair: Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary, STUC Speakers: Professor Karen Turner, Director of Centre for Energy Policy, University of Strathclyde and Just Transition Commissioner Richard Hardy, Nat. Secretary, Prospect and Just Transition Commissioner Lang Banks, WWF Scotland and Just Transition Commissioner