On these pages you'll find news, tips and useful information, campaigns and PCS policy on green issues such as climate change, energy, waste and recycling.
We believe that green or sustainable workplaces should also take on board wider issues such as ethical investment, fair trade and workers' rights.
Under a huge weight of pressure from the government and the industry, on Monday 29 June Lancashire County Council stood strong and rejected Cuadrilla's plans to frack at Little Plumpton (Preston New Road). This follows the decision to reject the plans at Roseacre.
This is a huge victory for campaigners and the local community who have tirelessly fought these plans. And a huge victory for local democracy which all out for shale David Cameron and George Osborne may seek to overturn.
To help defend the decision of Lancashire please sign the Friends of the Earth petition here.
Fracking will not create jobs, poses serious health risks, is bad for the environment and contributes to climate change. Support climate jobs and say no fracking in Lancashire, no fracking anywhere.
Chris Baugh has written a blog explaining why opposing fracking is not an easy option; it's supporting shale gas and locking energy policy and workers into a fossil fuel future which is.
Trade unions need to honestly confront the energy debate and map out a just transition for energy workers into a unionised, democractially and publically owned renewables sector. This is what will ultimately protect members jobs and the planet.
Read assistant general secretary Chris Baugh's blog on fracking. Chris Baugh fracking blog June 2015
On Thursday (21 May) conference agreed the NEC motion A115 to continue to promote the PCS green agenda and to increase the number of reps taking up sustainability issues in workplaces. It also reconfirmed the commitment to campaign for statutory rights for workplace environmental reps and reinstatement of formal central and departmental level consultation structures across the civil service, related bodies and the Commercial Sector.
Aviation Group President, Tahir Latif moved motion A116 in support of the fossil fuel divestment campaign and calling for investment in a unionised renewable industry with support for workers to ensure a just transition into new jobs. This is a fast growing campaign led by universities and students.
Another new policy area for PCS's green agenda is agriculture and waste, motion A117 moved by Nick Turnball, CPS Yorks and Humberside branch. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture including crop and animal production is the world's second largest GHG producer after the energy sector, a result of intensive farming practices including rearing of livestock and poultry as well as agriculture.
The motion recognised the role of labour in climate change policy and need to link labour rights of the agricultural workforce to issues of sustainability and corporate driven agriculture. There are over 450 million women and men at the heart of the food production system but who are among the most socially vulnerable, least organised into trade unions, and employed under the poorest health, safety and environmental conditions. Therefore supporting workers' struggles in the industry is key to changing our food system.
Finally motion A52 on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and environment/climate change was also agreed. This affirms PCS's position to campaign against all provisions in TTIP and support actions to challenge TTIP and other trade agreements. See also international pages of website for PCS briefing on TTIP.
Further information on how these motions are being taken forward will be posted in due course, and circulated to those on the green e-news network.
A report launched in January by Friends of the Earth dispells the myths about the scale of jobs fracking will create.
Welcoming the report, PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh said:
"We were told fracking would be a game changer driving down our energy bills, claims not even Lord Browne, chair of Cuadrilla believes. Now we're told the dash for gas is about energy security and jobs.
As this report shows, the arguments do not stack up in the face of the evidence and PCS is clear that investment in climate jobs - helping to reduce carbon emissions - is vital if we are to seriously address interrelated economic, energy and environmental concerns.
Development of the [North West] region’s abundant renewable energy sources and energy efficiency programmes will create better and greater employment opportunities than this literal race to the bottom for shale. Trade unions need to play a central role if we are to make a just transition to clean energy sources that protect both the jobs and livelihood of working people and the planet we inhabit."
The full press release from Friends of the Earth and a copy of the report can be accessed here.
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