Information about the mobilisations on Saturday 12 November in solidarity with the Global Day of Action called by Egyptian groups at COP27.
Details of the Edinburgh march on 12 November are in the picture and here, with registration here. It starts at 12noon in St Andrew Square and goes around several themed ‘stations’ finishing at the Scottish Parliament, where the theme is End the Cost of Living Scandal, Just Transition now.
As General Secretary Christina McAnea said in the discussion at her recent Jimmy Reid lecture, action on climate is up there in the union’s overarching top three priorities, along of course with key work to improve pay, particularly tackling low pay and our equalities work. She said climate change is intrinsically linked to poverty, with those who have least here and worldwide most affected. And she emphasised that young people, when asked why they want to join a union, refer to climate change and housing as important to them.
We know everyone has been overloaded more with work on pay and ballots but would encourage branches to support the Edinburgh demo, or one nearer you if more are organised. A lot of trade unions have made efforts during pay disputes to link the cost of living and fuel bill crises with the climate crisis and climate campaigners have been supporting pay strikes. The Just Transition Partnership has a statement-making the links between the climate crisis and cost of living and industrial disputes – Living Wages on a Living Planet.
Understandably there was more attention on the UN talks themselves when they were in Glasgow, but the fuel bills crisis and soaring profits of Shell and other oil companies, show that we are right to call for windfall taxes on those companies and a system focused on people, not profit. Report after report highlights the climate harm and dangers, including to health. And to infrastructure and life without sufficient adaptation planning. (Remember we have the excellent climate hazards workbook and handbook and other resources branches can use with employers.) Yet the new Prime Minister isn’t going to Egypt, even though the UK still has the presidency.
Yesterday’s UN environment agency report put the urgency in the strongest possible terms: Inger Anderson, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, said: “We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over. Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster.”
Our Depute Convener Stephen Smellie will be at COP27 as part of the ITUC delegation. He will send updates from there and you can find regular updates on events and info on this page on the UNISON Scotland website https://unison-scotland.org/tus-at-cop27-climate-conf-sat-12-nov-demos-green-unison/ Do please sign the petition in solidarity with Egypt’s prisoners of conscience https://copcivicspace.net/petition/
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