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.
Latest PCS Becoming a Greener Union report available
Over the past year, PCS has continued to play a lead role on green issues in the trade union movement, taking forward motion A93 passed at 2013 Annual Delegates Conference (ADC). This report outlines the numerous activities which have taken place – including the Green
Forum - at the level of PCS as a workplace, across the government
estate, and the campaigns we are involved with.
Read the full report Becoming a Greener Union.
Thanks to PCS green reps Angelika Konko and Russ Spollin for their contributions and pictures.
European Commission backtracks on environmental commitment to guard against fracking
In October 2013 the elected European Parliament voted to make it a legal requirement to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in advance of any shale gas extraction project or any exploration involving fracking. This promised to go a long way to safeguarding environments all over the EU from unconventional fossil fuel extraction.
The European Commission’s Council of Ministers has now excluded this vital requirement from the draft legislation and the European Parliament voted through this compromised legislation when it went back to it for a final vote. The Greens voted against because of the proposed legislation’s shortcomings, but they were in a minority.
Jean Lambert Green MEP for London, said:
“These new rules are a missed opportunity. They do not go far enough to protect the public from the risks of fracking, and will not halt the speedy dash for shale gas by many governments across Europe.”
Communities throughout Britain can as a result now expect to see more fracking projects being pushed through without a basic standard of assessment of their impact and public participation in the process, as would have been required by EIAs.
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
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