to download the 20-page study "Climate Change and the Great Inaction," September 2014, click on
New Trade Union Perspectives
This paper has been written for unions and
unionists who are perhaps in the early stages
of their engagement with climate change
and who feel they might benefit from knowing
"the story so far" in terms of trade union involvement.
But it is also being written with an
eye to the future, to generate discussion that
may help unions develop the kind of compelling
ideas and proposals that can lead to an
increase in membership engagement and climate
activism. A global movement demanding
immediate and effective action on climate
change is urgently needed, and unions can
play an important and potentially decisive role.
However, part of the process of building such
a movement will require taking stock, in broad
terms, of what has been learned with regard to
past efforts both practically and at the level of
ideas and core theoretical assumptions.
This paper focuses mainly on the UN level,
where the level of union activity has been very
significant and worthy of examination. It will be
clear from what follows that the climate politics
of the international trade union movement has
reached an impasse-the same is also true of
other movements who have fought for a global
climate agreement and have seen their hopes
shattered. But this is more than a problem of
barking up the wrong tree, or of the wrong
set of persons sitting in the seats of power at
the wrong time.