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GLI Network at COP21: Naomi Klein & Jeremy Corbyn discuss solutions to the Climate Crisis & the Role of Trade Unions

Naomi Klein photo by Kourosh-Keshiri. Jeremy Corbyn photo by Jeff Overs/BBC/PA
Naomi Klein photo by Kourosh-Keshiri. Jeremy Corbyn photo by Jeff Overs/BBC/PA

Now is Not the Time for Small Steps 

Solutions to the Climate Crisis and the Role of Trade Unions

A Conversation with Naomi Klein & UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) is co-hosting a public meeting with Naomi Klein and Jeremy Corbyn for trade unionists and their allies during the upcoming COP21 UN climate negotiations taking place in Paris this December. The event will take place on Monday 7th December, 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m, at the Salle Olympe de Gouges in Paris and is supported by the Global Climate Jobs Campaign, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung–New York, and the Global Labour Institute Network.

Due to hundreds of trade unionists and social movement activists registering for the meeting over the past few days, the event is now fully booked. However, you can join the waiting list for tickets that may become available closer to the event here: goo.gl/7mYivL.

We also hope that the event will be live-streamed on the internet, and details of this will be announced as soon as arrangements have been finalised.

Explaining why this meeting is so important, Sean Sweeney, co-ordinator of TUED, said: “Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate and Jeremy Corbyn’s Protecting Our Planet leadership campaign statement get to the root causes of climate change, namely an economic system that serves the interests of the large corporations and the one percent. This is the reality that unions and other social movements must confront, and it explains why the UN climate talks have failed to produce an agreement that can ensure a truly just societal transition.”

Naomi Klein’s book urges unions and their allies to step up their efforts to establish a new paradigm anchored in a far-reaching democratization of economic life. This message was recently reinforced by the documentary film of the same name (directed by Avi Lewis).

Prior to being elected leader of the Labour Party in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn issued a clear commitment to an energy transition that is “open, democratic, sustainable and accountable” and be able to deliver 100% carbon-free electrical power by 2030.

The meeting is sponsored by trade unions and global union federations from across the world, including:

Public Services International; International Transportworkers Federation; Education International; International Union of Foodworkers; Global Nurses United; Canadian Labour Congress (CLC); Central de Trabajadores Argentinos (CTA); Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Mangagawa (SENTRO) Philippines; FTQ Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec; Confédération des syndicats nationaux, Quebec; European Public Services Unions (EPSU); La Fédération Syndicale Unitaire (FSU) France; l’Union Syndicale Solidaires, France; Service Employees International Union (US & Canada); Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE); GMB, UK; National Nurses United (US); Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) United States and Canada; Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW); Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Fagforbundet); National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Australia; New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA); Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) UK; Public Services and Transport Workers Union (KPTU) Korea; UNISON, UK; UNITE the Union, UK; United Electrical Workers (UE),US; University and College Union (UCU) UK; Water Workers Union at EYATH, Thessaloniki, Greece; Dipartimento Ambiente e Territorio CGIL, Italy.

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News and events

Power to the People: Toward Democratic Control of Electricity Generation

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) has published a new working paper, “Power to the People: Toward Democratic Control of Electricity Generation“, which aims to show how “another energy is possible, and absolutely necessary”. The paper, published by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung–New York Office, examines the actual and potential content behind the term energy democracy in order to help unions get a better grasp of what is happening now and what could happen in the future. It succinctly explains the failure of profit-driven approaches to either emissions reductions or controlling energy demand.

According to Sean Sweeney, the coordinator of TUED, “The paper is not a blueprint. It shows what is happening, and also what needs to happen in order to reduce emissions and pollution. Its main message is, if we want to control atmospheric warming and to protect our common home, then we have to get serious about reclaiming and democratizing energy.  Unions in different countries and from all sectors are increasingly aware of the need to do this.”

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) is a global, multi-sector trade union initiative to advance democratic direction and control of energy in a way that promotes solutions to the climate crisis, energy poverty, the degradation of both land and people, and responds to the attacks on workers’ rights and protections. TUED is the signature project of the International Program for Labor, Climate & Environment at the Murphy Institute, City University of New York and is part of the Global Labour Institute Network.