The Climate Crisis –

Protecting people and the planet

 

Climate change is real and it is a union issue.

The evidence is clear that the world is facing a climate emergency and in recent months the school ‘climate strike’ and the activism of other groups has focussed attention, culminating in the government’s commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

We take this challenge seriously and we have unique insight because we represent   members across the science, engineering and the environmental workforces, alongside members in the energy and transport sectors.    

Prospect embodies expertise. Members in public services are amongst the world’s leading climate scientists and conservationists. Our members in renewables, nuclear and the energy supply networks understand both the need for investment in low-carbon energy and a Just Transition, so that no workers or communities are left behind by the switch to a new green economy.

Our Bectu sector members in the creative industries have worked on Blue Planet and other film, TV and theatre productions telling the story of what is at stake.

You can read our statement on climate change here.

Unlike other civil society organisations unions are subject to stringent legal constraint, including around industrial action, and that is why we cannot endorse the calls for climate related ‘strike’ action on and around 20 September.

Trade Union law does suppress legitimate civic protest and when it comes to industrial action we cannot risk members being exposed to dismissal or the Union to financial attack for being aligned with such calls.

Getting involved

Prospect will be using the September climate week of action to highlight our support for tougher action on carbon emissions and to create a low-carbon society.   

This includes encouraging members to stage events on 20 September and during the week of action to show our support, regardless of the fact that we cannot endorse strike action.

We are asking branches and members to consider:

  • Organising a branch discussion or event during the week of action – for instance a lunchtime discussion or group photo to show your support for climate action.
  • Using Prospect materials to support a debate or actions about what members can do locally or at work. We will be producing new materials in advance of 20 September.
  • Supporting local community events also taking part – but remember to agree that time off with your line manager or annual leave to cover any time in which you may not be at work.
  • When you hold an event – for some freelance members or those who work flexibly the timing of events matters.
  • Sharing or liking our social media posts highlighting the work our members do and our support for action on climate change.
  • Electing a Environmental Rep for your branch and getting involved in the Prospect Environment Network.

We are currently consulting interested membership groups to inform policy and the NEC at its September 25 meeting will give further consideration to the actions we should be taking.