PCS green policies

Environment policy agreed at PCS Annual Delegate Conference (ADC) 2018

A86 instructs the NEC to:

  • build on the Just Transition pamphlet launched in 2017 and advocate for a Just Transition Act, and the core principles/elements within that to underpin a planned economic transition, that is more than a floor of social protections but a proactive policy for social justice; 
  • lobby the Labour Party for proposed machinery of government changes that will ensure a civil service ready to deliver on climate change as advocated for as part of a National Climate Service;
  • work with all PCS groups and branches to understand their role in a Just Transition and the importance of workplace envinormental reps in reaching local environmental agreements and action plans, including providing model negotiators guidance;
  • continue working through the global Trade Unions for Energy Democracy initiative and specifically UK TUED unions, to influence policy and the pathway to achiveing the public ownership nd democratic control of energy;
  • promote projects such as the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre climate jobs plan against fracking in all regions/locatlities as an atlernaive to dirty energy plans; 
  • campaign with, and support, groups such as Friends of the Earth, Campaign Against Climate Change and others both nationally and overseas in building a Just Transition and role of climate jobs in addressing climate change.

A87 - Scotland and Climate Change motion calls on the NEC to hold a one-day delegate conference of Scottish branches to consider the impact on public services of the Scottish Climate Change Plan; to establish a working party involving the NEC, Scottish Sector and Scotland Committee to identify priorties in the process of transition, the needs of members, the kinds of employment protections we should seek from the employer and campaign on; to work with the STUC and other unions to build a consenusus around demands to exert maximum pressure on the Scottish Government in defence of members, to establish genuine energy democracy and ensure a transformative transition in the interests of the Scottish working class.

A88 motion on industrial strategy, automation and Just Transition instructs the NEC to work with those unions that supported to 2017 TUC Climate Change motion to develop a strategy for the long-term protection of workers in the era of automation and climate change, and to influence any incoming Labour government to adopt an industrial stategy that prioritises a transition to a low carbon economy, implemented by workers in decently paid, unionised jobs.

A89  calls the NEC to extend the Just Transition campaign into the food and farming sectors.

A90 and A280 - Plastics use and recycling.  Two motions that emphasise the need to address plastic pollution and waste.  The first seeks to review and devise new policies for procurement that would reduce the generation of plastic waste, and implement a plastic reduction policy within the union itself. The second instructs the NEC to negotiate that the govenment withdraws from any purchase activity on items made from non-recylced plastics and leads by example on this. That the government follows the Scottish government in cutting use of non-recyclable plastic and to task the PCS Parliamentary Group on pressuring government to establish plans to prevent further plastic waste entering our seas.  The NEC to report back to the membership by end of November 2018.

A91 on air polllution instructs the NEC to campaign for a legal framework that addresses this health emergency including strengthening envioronmental protections after Brexit; promotes awareness raising across the civil service and beyond; provide training and support for PCS Green and Health and Safety reps to tackle this issue in their workplace and communities; work with the Greener Jobs Alliance, the Hazards Campaign and other organisations promoting air quality action to deliver these objectives.


Previous years' motions


A41 calling on conference to adopt and promote the new PCS pamphlet on just transition and energy democracy (see separate page).  Other elements are to ensure that climate change demands are included in industrial strategies; to continue to press for formal consultation mechanisms on sustainability issues within the Civil Service Forum including to lobby for staturtory rights for Workplace Environmental Reps (WERs); to work with the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and other energy democracy groups such as Switched on London to promote energy transition based on public ownership and democratic control; to promote international solidarity on issues such as climate refugees.

A42 called for arms to renewables noting the devasting impact of the arms trade and need to urgently tackle climate change by promoting renewable energy and one million climate jobs. As the delegate from Defra said - there is an alternative, turning Trident into wind turbines!

A43 reffirmed the union's opposition to nuclear energy, the need to promote energy democracy and fight for green energy.  Speaking for the NEC, Martin Cavanagh said investment in nuclear should be put into renewables, along with research into storage technology and support for decentralised energy systems. 

A44 moved by Aviation Group President Tahir Latif, highlighted the failiure of government to address the problem of diesel cars and air pollution, and the need for a clear plan to move to electric vehicles run on renewable energy in the shortest possible time-frame. 


Motion A64 was passed and instructs the NEC to:

1. Continue to demand formal consultation mechanisms on sustainability issues with civil service trade unions both at national and local levels, and to lobby for statutory time off for workplace environmental reps and workplace environmental audits;

2. Develop integrated environmental policy/strategy across different groups with common interests such as the transport sector (DfT and Aviation) and Environmental Sector (DECC, EA, Efra);

3.  Work through the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee (TUSDAC) to raise the profile of the One Million Climate jobs campaign with TUC affiliates and ensure that sustainability issues remain at the heart of the TUC's agenda;

4. Work in partnership with organisations such as Friends of the Earth and This Changes Everything (UK) to develop and promote the People's Demands project, and support the 40th Anniversary of the Lucas Plan event in the autumn;

5. Work with other trade unions including international affiliates to develop and promote a plan for a just transition for workers and their communities based on protection of workers as we transform from a fossil fuel economy to one based on renewable energy;

6. Engage in the Labour Party policy review process, and in particular lobby for a sub-group of the Economic Advisory Committee to discuss just transition as part of a new renewable energy economy.


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.

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