Saturday, 17 February 2018

Friday, 16 February 2018


Friends of the Earth Scotland      Scottish Trade Union Congress    UNITE
UNISON Scotland    Public and Commercial Services Union    Communication Workers Union
University and Colleges Union       WWF Scotland
It’s time for a Just Transition in Scotland, moving to a modern low-carbon economy in ways which protect workers’ livelihoods, create a new industrial base and deliver a fairer Scotland. The need for action is urgent in order to avert the environmental and economic costs of climate change and to rebalance the economy to one which provides enough decent jobs making things in clean ways.

We share a concern that plans for this transition so far have not been ambitious enough and that progress has been slow except regarding on-shore wind. There has been little planning to ensure the protection of the people most affected, in particular those who work in sectors reliant on fossil fuels. It is necessary to confront the danger of losing a large part of the industrial base as employment in traditional sectors declines. Workers, if losing their job in these sectors, should be able to redeploy to new sectors and opportunities for retraining must be expanded.

As a new Scottish Energy Strategy and Climate Change Plan are being drafted we hope to see a pipeline of ambitious investment projects and the capacity to finance them put in place. Scotland has the opportunity to create an example which other nations might follow. However fine words and targets are not sufficient on their own and experience to date shows that the growth of renewable energy generation does not necessarily result in the creation of new manufacturing and engineering capacity and employment in Scotland. Specific measures are needed to ensure that these benefits accrue.

The government should take a decisive lead with plans to transform key sectors, for example electricity generation, energy storage, transport infrastructure, energy efficiency and sustainable heating for homes and businesses. Where necessary to secure change at sufficient pace and scale, options for public and community ownership or partial stakes in flagship projects and enterprises should be pursued.

Employment and social benefits for Scotland, and in particular for communities most affected by industrial change, should be secured through creation of local supply chains, community benefit clauses and local ownership. Social justice and equity have to be built in, with no-one left behind in this transition to economic and environmental sustainability.

We aim to create a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities, invite others to join our commitment to promoting a just transition and help assemble the powers, finance and enthusiasm to ensure it happens in Scotland.
13 December 2016

16 Colleges and 61 Universities on strike

Thursday, 15 February 2018

"how fossil fuel use became unsustainable"

From: Simon Pirani <>
Subject: tue 20 feb: "how fossil fuel use became unsustainable"

Hello friends. I am giving a talk about "how global fossil fuel consumption became unsustainable" on this coming Tuesday, 20 February, at the Radical Anthropology Group. It's open to all - please turn up and/or pass this on. Thanks, Simon.

Global and Institutional Crises and Red-Green Alternatives – Conference

17TH MARCH 2018

Global and Institutional Crises and Red-Green Alternatives – Conference

Program – International Transform Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark,Saturday, 17 March 2018:
Title: “Global and Institutional Crises and Red-Green Alternatives”

How to respond to the growing systemic crisis in Europe and globally? This is a combination of multiple crises – political, social, climate and environmental – requiring systemic alternatives. System criticism is not enough. The conference is a contribution to the debate on if and how to break with the capitalist system underlying the crises and to develop red and green alternatives?

Venue: HK København, Svend Aukens Plads 11, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark

Price: 100 DKK, to be paid at the entrance.

Registration: send email to

9:30 Registration and coffee/tea etc.

10:00 Welcome

10:00-10:45  Daniel Tanuro, Belgium, author of ‘Green Capitalism: Why it can’t work’ and contributor to the book ‘Økosocialisme – fra systemkritik til alternativ’ (Solidaritet, 2015), ecosocialist and writer in La Gauche, certified agriculturalist.

“Urgency of an Ecosocialist Alternative. How to fill the gaps in emissions and in consciousness?”

There is an objective gap between the path of emissions reduction compatible with a 1.5°C temperature increase on the one hand, and the projections based on the Nationally determined contributions (NDC) on the other hand. There is also a huge subjective gap between the ecosocialist consciousness needed to break with the productivist logic of capitalism, on the one hand, and the alienated consciousness of the vast majority of the population, on the other hand. Bridging the first gap entails bridging the second. What strategy for ecosocialism? 

10:45-11:30 Elizabeth Mpofu, Zimbabwe, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina International.

“Alternatives to the ecological crisis, the food crises and the climate crisis”

11:30-11:45 Break

11:45-13.15 Questions and debate Break

13:15-14:15  Lunch

14:15-17:00 Parallel seminars on 1) To combat climate change – the role of ecosocialism and ecofeminism; 2) Our common goods – reclaiming public services

Seminar 1: To combat climate change – the role of ecosocialism and ecofeminism

Yayo Herrero, Spain, Anthropologist, Director of FUHEM, Ecologistas en Acción

“Ecofeminist views to confront the Anthropocene“

Asbjørn Wahl, Norway, author and trade unionist, director of the Campaign for the Welfare state

”The role of labour in the fight against climate change”

Action to combat climate change will require major societal transformation. We have most of what is required in terms of technology, knowledge and competence to avert a climate disaster. What we lack is the social power to translate words into action. The role of organized labour will therefore be decisive. The climate struggle will have to be unified with the social struggle.

Seminar 2: Our common goods – resisting privatization; reclaiming public services

Birgit Daiber; Germany, author and publisher, Transform commons working group, The Common-Good-of-Humanity-Network

“Left politics and Commons-movements in Europe”

The impressive and rich diversity of commons initiatives all over the world can be seen as acts of resistance against exploitation of nature and people, or more specific: against the continuous and ever-growing greed of reactionary politics and capital for privatisation of natural resources. It’s time to discuss strategies on European level: Commons as one dimension of initiatives to reclaim a social, ecological and democratic Europe.

Nanna Clifforth, Denmark, NOAH – Friends of the Earth Denmark

“Earth Incorporated: The impacts of trade and privatisation on nature”

Nature, biodiversity and ecosystem functions are increasingly included in trade agreements as well as turned into aims of financialisation and off-setting with severe environmental and social consequences.

Wanda Wyporska, Britain, Executive Director at The Equality Trust, campaigning organization working for greater equality

“Our common goods – reclaiming public services”

Access to and provision of public services play a key role in inequality, whether reducing or increasing the gaps in society. How the fragmentation of education, health and social security is affecting the UK and those who deliver these services.

The Equality Trust was launched in 2009 by Bill Kerry, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett after the publishing of “The Spirit Level – Why Equality is Better for Everyone” (In Danish: “Lighed – Hvorfor alle klarer sig bedre i mere lige samfund”).

16:00-16:15 Coffee break

16:15-17:00 Workshops and networking

The intention is to make workshops around each of the topics of the talks of the conference, and possibly build working groups  for ongoing work on these issues.

17:00-18:00 Concluding debate in plenary between the speakers of the conference and the participants on the main topics of the day.

Organizers: Transform!Danmark in cooperation with transform!europe, Enhedslisten/the Red-Green Alliance, Afrika Kontakt, Solidaritet, Det Ny Clarté, DiEM25-Copenhagen, Miljøbevægelsen NOAH (Friends of the Earth Denmark) and others.

More information about the conference here.

Green Monday speakers

Reports from PNR show that conditions for the popular sport of 'Frack Surfing' have been really good - with environmental champions doing particularly well on recent Green Mondays and Black Fridays in particular! Thankfully, Cuadrilla are confident that - despite the financial problems of Third Energy at KM8 - they will be able to continue to provide (at least, for the moment) sufficient trucks to enable protesters to carry on enjoying this sport.

As reported below, we've now got Green Monday speakers confirmed for 5 consecutive weeks, starting on Monday 26 February, bringing us to the end of March. Fortunately, the long-range forecast suggests that, for these Green Mondays, conditions should be particularly good - so it's hoped that there'll be REALLY BIG crowds to watch PNR's Frack Surfers show us just what they can do! Who knows, some of the crowd may be so overwhelmed by the excitement that they'll need to sit down for several hours (the seating in front of the gates provides the best views!)?! SO…  make sure you - & LOADS of your friends - are there to watch the fun (all being well, I'm hoping to be able to return to PNR on Monday 26 Feb)!! 

Until technical issues can be resolved, this Update (as was last week's) is without photos. 'Normal' service will be resumed as soon as possible!  
A. Forthcoming 'Green Mondays' at PNR:

We now have the following : 

1. On 26 February, John Ashton, Co-Founder of Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), will be our main speaker. 
Jamie Peters, of Friends of the Earth, will be also be making a very welcome return to PNR on that day. 
 2On 5 MarchAlasdair Roxburgh, FoE's Director of Communities and Networks, will be the main speaker for this Green Monday
 3. On 12 MarchJonathan Bartley, Co-Leader of the Green Party, will be the main speaker for this Green Monday
 4. On 19 MarchGeorge Monbiot, environmental campaigner and journalist, will be the main speaker for this Green Monday
 5. On 26 MarchAmelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, will be the main speaker for this Green Monday

You can find out more about this via these links: 


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

No free pass to pollute! Climate change, aviation and shipping 26 February 7-9pm,

No free pass to pollute! Climate change, aviation and shipping

All welcome at our meeting to discuss these crucial issues and find out about actions coming up.
26 February 7-9pm, SOAS, London WC1H 0XG
While climate activists try and get governments to engage meaningfully with their commitments under the Paris climate deal, it's easy to forget that two major industrial sectors were excluded from the deal - aviation and shipping.
In April, negotiators will come to London from around the world to decide on climate targets for the shipping industry. While Pacific islands and some European nations are pushing for high ambition, other proposals on the table have no meaningful emissions cuts. These talks usually go under the radar and have been described as 'captured by corporations' but we can't afford for that to happen this time. 
Meanwhile, the aviation industry does have an international agreement to cut emissions - but it has holes so big you could fly a jumbo jet through it. And the UK government is determined to push through a third runway at Heathrow despite the Committee on Climate Change repeatedly pointing out that this would presumably make us miss our climate targets. With MPs voting on the third runway this summer, Cait Hewitt of the Aviation Environment Federation will help unravel the misinformation and spin to understand what's at stake.
Monday, February 26, 2018 - 19:00 to 20:45