TUs at COP27 climate conf – Sat 12 Nov Demos – Green UNISON

The COP27 UN Climate Conference takes place in Egypt next month and there will be mass climate justice mobilisations across the UK on Sat 12 Nov in solidarity with protests at the COP.

The African COP27 coalition, the UK Climate Justice Coalition (CJC – the org following on from the COP26 Coalition) and other climate justice organisations have come together and announced a Global Day of Action on 12 November.

Green UNISON activists across the UK are organising to support demonstrations being planned on Sat 12 Nov, including in Edinburgh and possibly some other cities in Scotland.

The 27th United Nations climate conference will be held from 7 to 18 November, with over 198 countries invited to take part. World leaders will make key decisions on how countries will commit to tackle the climate emergency.

Trade unions also take part as observers and use their collective voice to influence decisions, put forward demands for a just transition to a low-carbon economy and hold governments to account.

UNISON Scotland’s Depute Convener Stephen Smellie, a UNISON NEC member, will be on the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) delegation on behalf of UNISON.

As members here know, Stephen represented the union at COP26 last year in numerous ways including through the ITUC. He was also on the COP26 Coalition co-ordinating group that organised the mass demonstrations in Glasgow last November.

UNISON is holding one of only two TUC places within the ITUC delegation, and is working hard to promote public services as key models of green transition and to ensure that the voices of public service workers are heard in Egypt.

Our General Secretary Christina McAnea, speaking after this year’s UNISON Green Week at the end of September, as the world prepares for COP27, said:

“The devastating impacts of the climate emergency are being felt across every part of the globe, but they fall heaviest on the disadvantaged.

“We are determined to be part of the necessary change – trade unions have a vital role to ensure urgent policies and measures deliver a fair transition to a greener planet.”

See the UNISON UK website page urging branches and members to get involved in the run-up to COP27, including by signing up to the UK green network and to sign a petition in solidarity with Egypt’s prisoners of conscience.  There is a range of useful resources there, including a video of the annual Green UNISON webinar.

UNISON Scotland’s Green Network members were active during Green UNISON Week and have an online lunchtime meeting tomorrow, Thurs 13 Oct, to discuss green workplace action, including on climate hazards and adaptation and in bargaining work, as well as COP27 demos planning and the connections between the cost of living, industrial disputes and strikes and climate justice.

We have stood in solidarity for some time now with the youth climate strikes campaigners Fridays for Futures after Greta Thunberg inspired so many school pupils, students and young people worldwide with her weekly school climate strike. The next Scottish Fridays for Future Climate March is in Glasgow on Friday 28 Oct 11am, Kelvingrove Park. https://twitter.com/FFF_Scotland/status/1577685042003861515?s=20&t=e42QayUw8zHfUPovH20u_g

You can find out more about our Green Network on the Facebook page and there are news updates, such as this one, on our Green Workplace page on this website. The UNISON report Getting to Net Zero in UK public services, launched at COP26, is there too.

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