Sixteen-year old Greta Thunberg from Sweden is inspiring a global movement for collective action on climate change. On March 15, 2019, a Global Climate Strike will see hundreds of thousands of young people in cities around the world join the movement.
Too young to vote – but not too young to protest.Sixteen-year old Greta Thunberg from Sweden is inspiring a global movement for collective action on climate change, by using one of the oldest union tools. She’s going on strike.
Already, tens of thousands of students have followed her call to skip school and join protests to build pressure on our political leaders to take urgent action on Global Warming.
On March 15, 2019, a Global Climate Strike will see hundreds of thousands of young people in cities around the world join the movement.
As trade unions, we need to support this new generation of activists to build the political pressure required to tackle the global climate crisis.
Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people.
Greta Thunberg, World Economic Forum - Davos
12 years to act
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released in October 2018, says we have 12 years to act to avoid the worst climate chaos. There is simply no time left to wait for another generation to take up the mantle. Humanity’s ability to survive on this planet is at stake. The scale is so large that most people feel powerless to act. Yet these young people have not given up hope. They know it is now or never.
Our capitalist system of ever-increasing production and consumption is at the heart of the problem. Just one hundred major corporations are responsible for over 71% of all carbon emissions. They hold huge power over our institutions and consistently oppose or undermine meaningful change.
Policies for the people, not the powerful
The corporate assault on the role and legitimacy of governments, regulations and public services means that many politicians have neither the tools nor the temerity to take on this massive threat. Privatisation has made it worse. The struggle for climate action is simultaneously a struggle to recover democracy and to have our governments make policies for the people, not the powerful.
History shows that we can only achieve a peaceful, democratic shift to a more just and safe economic system using our collective strength, including strikes. In 1968, workers and unions in many countries supported calls from students to take to the streets to challenge injustice and the unwillingness of the political establishment to act.
Now, once again students are taking action for change. They have asked ‘adults’ to join them. They say they won’t back down until governments take the actions needed. We can show them and the world that trade unions are on the right side of history, that we will join with popular movements to restore democracy. The fight for climate action is a fight to put people over profit. There is no Planet B, and there is no time left.
Climate Policy Initiative’s 2017 edition of the Global
Landscape of Climate Finance updates the most
comprehensive assessment of annual climate fnance
ﬂows with data from 2015 and 2016, providing, for the
frst time, a fve-year trend analysis on the how, where,
and from whom fnance is ﬂowing toward low-carbon
and climate-resilient actions globally in order to identify
trends, gaps, and opportunities to scale up investment.
As with previous reports, the fgures identifed in this
Landscape represent overall global fnance ﬂows and
should be compared with estimates of total investment
needed consistent with the goal of limiting global
temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.
Natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics, war and conflict (hereafter referred to as ‘emergencies’) impose serious challenges to communities and to public service workers, especially first responders and frontline workers. These emergencies are made worse by the negative impacts of “man-made disasters” such as austerity/budget cuts, privatization, outsourcing, short staffing, and lack of regular trained staff.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has warned that “there is good reason to fear that the growing use of private firefighters and inmates could be seen as a way to avoid funding public services at the level required to respond to climate change.”
Asked to imagine how we might solve the crises of climate change or inequality, it’s not the first solution that comes to mind. But our public services are among the most effective ways we have to build communities that are vibrant, green and inclusive. That’s the message of The Future is Public, a conference taking place in Montreal in mid-June with coast-to-coast and international participation.
There’s a good reason why this role of public services isn’t immediately obvious to many people. We’ve been beset by decades of corporate propaganda that tells us public services are inefficient and irrelevant. That our lives will be improved not by government, but by private businesses.