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Political and industrial failures will fuel climate and employment crises

06 Jun 2021
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Energy sufficient and socially prosperous country entirely compatible with saving the planet, GMB special report says 

GMB, the union for energy workers, has warned political leaders ‘political and industrial failure’ over the last decade on energy and environmental policy must end if we are to avoid the ‘double disaster of a climate crisis and a jobs crisis’. 

Ratified by delegates to the union’s congress this afternoon [Sunday June 6], GMB’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) Special Report on Energy and Environment sets-out the realities of Britain’s energy use against our climate change targets and the scale of employment supported by the industries that provide our energy mix 

Time isn’t on our side but it’s not too late to fix this. An energy sufficient and socially prosperous country is entirely compatible with saving the planet, but only if we start taking our responsibilities seriously by planning and investing for the future now.” 

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary

The union, forged in the late Victorian era struggles of East London’s gas workers, backs the principles of the ‘just transition’ on energy, but has called for honest dialogue between the labour and environmental movements to defend jobs and influence Government policy as the country pursues it’s ‘net zero’ targets. 

GMB’s 103rd annual Congress, where the lay member, ruling body of GMB decides GMB policy, is taking place online this year due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said:   

“Climate change is real, the climate emergency is happening, but the debate over energy and environmental policy must go-hand-in-hand and over the last decade it has been mired in political and industrial failure. 

“There is a huge gulf between our climate change ambitions and delivery. We export to the rest of the world the jobs we need to support a recovery and transition to a low-carbon economy, and we give billions of pounds in subsidies for big energy to do it. That’s unjust, wrong and as a union of jobs and work we make no apologies for calling that out. 

“If we want to avoid the double disaster of a climate crisis and a jobs crisis, then we need a balanced energy policy across our regions and nations that supports workers and communities on the journey to ‘net zero’. What we can’t have is empty slogans that play fast and loose with the livelihoods of energy workers. 

“Time isn’t on our side but it’s not too late to fix this. An energy sufficient and socially prosperous country is entirely compatible with saving the planet, but only if we start taking our responsibilities seriously by planning and investing for the future now.” 

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