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.
Report on PCS Green Forum, 15-16 November 2013
The third national PCS green forum, no to Austerity - Yes to one million climate jobs: Why climate change is a trade union issue, took place in Leeds 15-16 November 2013. Attended by 42 delegates including observers from sister unions, Friends of the Earth, Frack-off and Fuel Poverty Action, participants looked at the role of a green rep, carrying out workplace environmental audits and campaigning against fracking and fuel poverty.
The forum was chaired by Karen Watts, NEC member and member of the NEC greening the workplace task group. A panel discussion covering a range of climate change related issues was opened with an overview on why climate change is a trade union issue by PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh, and included presentations from PCS reps in Forestry and Aviation. These were supported with enlightening presentations from colleagues as TSSA and the FBU.
Following the "wettest January ever" nothing could more bring home the important work members do in the fire and rescue services and need to support their campaign for a statutory duty to respond to flooding. Similarly with the ensuing transport chaos and collapse of the rail network the case for a fully integrated publicly owned rail network could not be stronger.
The forum elected Graham Bowers (Defra), Kate Duffy (DWP), Clara Paillard (CMSOA), Steve Ryan (HMRC) and William Young (HMRC) to the newly created Green Forum Advisory Body. This will support the NEC’s greening the workplace task group in progressing PCS’ green agenda, take forward the recommendations and next steps arising out of the forum, and play a key role in developing regionally based networks of green reps.
Read a full report here PCS Green Forum 2013 report
FairTrade Fortnight, 24 February to 9 March
Give fairtrade products a push in your workplace by getting involved in this annual event. For more information, including a campaign action guide, go to the Fairtrade Foundation's website.
Anti-fracking vote victory
An amendment to the environmental impact assessment directive on unconventional fossil fuels has been won. Over 300 emails were sent in just over a week to members of the European parliament, including a letter from Chris Baugh, PCS assistant general secretary.
51 MEPs in the parliament's environment committee endorsed an amendment to require a mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) for all shale gas drilling, both in the exploration and extraction phase. 18 MEPs voted against.
The European conservative faction tried to delete the requirement to do an EIA in the exploration stage and also eliminate the words "regardless of the amount extracted". But their efforts failed to win support. Socialists, liberals and greens voted as a block in favour of the amendment but the lobbying had most impact on centrist MEPs who might have voted either way.
Whilst this vote does not ban the extraction of shale gas through fracking from Europe, it is a first step towards having the risks involved in shale gas fracking taken seriously.
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