A Trade Union Guide to Just Transition References and Further Reading

References and further reading

A publication that will prove particularly useful is the Labour Research Department (LRD) Guide Union action on climate change’. Published in September 2019, like this module, it contains more detailed written references that link into this course. It is free to union members whose unions subscribe. Available to order from  http://www.lrdpublications.org.uk/

Another priced publication that gives a detailed assessment of union policy is ‘Workers and trade unions for climate solidarity’ by Paul Hampton 2015, Routledge Price £36.99 https://www.routledge.com/Workers-and-Trade-Unions-for-Climate-Solidarity-Tackling-climate-change/Hampton/p/book/9781138841420

New Economics Foundation (NEF) Working together for a Just Transition’, November 2018,  https://neweconomics.org/2018/11/working-together-for-a-just-transition 

‘Trust in transition’ September 2019 sets out a strategy for delivering just transition. https://neweconomics.org/search/publications

Other links referenced in each section of the course are:

1.  The meaning and history of the term just transition 

Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all’ ILO published in 2015. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_emp/—emp_ent/documents/publication/wcms_432859.pdf

Climate Justice: There are no jobs on a dead planet’, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) March 2015 https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/ituc_frontlines_climate_change_report_en.pdf

Making decarbonisation work for workers’, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces, January 2018  https://policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/making-decarbonization-work-workers

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) publication ‘Just Transition and Energy Democracy’ https://www.pcs.org.uk/resources/green-workplaces/new-pamphlet-just-transition-and-energy-democracy-a-civil-service-trade

The new Lucas Plan is a trade union initiative to revive the spirit of the original struggle by drawing on the lessons of the past. To find out more go to: http://lucasplan.org.uk/story-of-the-lucas-plan/

Greener Jobs Alliance JT Statement https://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/JustTransitionJointStatement-FINAL.pdf

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) – .In 2008 the TUC published a handbook entitled ‘Go Green at Work’ https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/extras/gogreenatwork.pdf 

In 2009 the TUC produced a related workbook called ‘Targeting Climate Change’ https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/tucfiles/tuc_targeting_climate_change.pdf

‘Green collar nation: a just transition to a low carbon economy’, October 2015, was jointly published with Greenpeace https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/green-collar-nation-just-transition-low-carbon-economy

Who is included in a Just Transition? Considering social equity in Canada’s shift to a zero-carbon economy’ Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood and Zaee Deshpande, August 2019 


This report is specifically concerned with the question of whether a just transition, as it is currently being pursued at the policy level in Canada, truly achieves justice for all workers by redressing inequities or, at a minimum, by not exacerbating them

2. Current UK union policies and why it should be a priority issue 

TUC Policy motions these can be found at https://www.tuc.org.uk/key-documents-congress-2018

The TUC issued a report entitled ‘A just transition to a greener, fairer economy’ July 2019, https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/A_Just_Transition_To_A_Greener_Fairer_Economy.pdf

‘Demanding a just transition for energy workers’ https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2019/01/just-transition-to-low-carbon-leaflet.pdf

European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) – In May 2018 it published a report ‘Involving trade unions in climate action to build a just transition’  https://www.etuc.org/en/publication/involving-trade-unions-climate-action-build-just-transition-guide-video

Research on Trade Union Just Transition Policies – In ‘Trade Union engagement with climate change in the UK’, 2017  https://www.cacctu.org.uk/tu_climate_research

‘UK Trade Unions engagement with climate change and the need for a ‘just transition,’ 2018


International and national standards that support a just transition 

The Paris COP Agreement, 2015 https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/10a01.pdf

Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration 2018 – This has been signed off by 50 Governments, including the UK, and outlines 7 measures on Just Transition implementation


The UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) has been set up to monitor progress on implementation of the SDGs. https://www.ukssd.co.uk/

The SDG Knowledge Hub has produced a brief ‘ Just Transition in focus’, May 2018, that highlights the linkages with the SDGs http://sdg.iisd.org/commentary/policy-briefs/ngo-brief-just-transition-in-focus/

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) published ‘Trade Unions and Just Transition: the search for a transformative politics’, Working Paper No.11, April 2018, http://unionsforenergydemocracy.org/resources/tued-publications/tued-working-paper-11-trade-unions-and-just-transition/

ILO Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all’ in 2015. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—ed_emp/—emp_ent/documents/publication/wcms_432859.pdf

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) has published a detailed report ‘Just transition of the workforce, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs’, October 2016, https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2016/tp/07.pdf

The UNFCC and the ILO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2017 to promote decent work and a ‘just transition’ of the workforce. https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_547216/lang–en/index.htm?shared_from=media-mail

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) A number of useful resources can be found at https://www.ituc-csi.org/just-transition-centre

As well as union resources it has published ‘Just Transition – a Business Guide’, May 2018 https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/just_transition_-_a_business_guide.pdf And a campaign guide https://www.ituc-csi.org/cpow-campaign-en

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) published ‘Trade Unions and Just Transition: the search for a transformative politics’, Working Paper No.11, April 2018, http://unionsforenergydemocracy.org/resources/tued-publications/tued-working-paper-11-trade-unions-and-just-transition/

The Committee on Climate Change  ‘Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming’ https://bit.ly/2IUK9lo

Examples of trade union action on just transition 

Reel News conducted a 14 week tour in 2018 looking at examples of climate action and just transition in the United States. https://reelnews.co.uk/2018/10/10/events/the-climate-change-crisis-an-opportunity-to-transform-our-communities-from-below/

New York – The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IFBEW) ‘Transitioning to a 21st century energy system’, July 2019. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/QgrcJHsNmtxvBLtPRwmblkBrbqSGSfRPrlv?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1

AustraliaThe Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), March 2017, Just Transition deal.. http://www.industriall-union.org/australia-cfmeu-wins-just-transition-for-hazelwood-power-station-workers

Canada – The United Steel Workers (USW) published a guide Climate Change and Just Transition: What will workers need?’, 2017. It was done in conjunction with the Adapting Canadian Workplaces (ACW)  project.https://adaptingcanadianwork.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/FIN_USW_Climate-Change-and-Just-Transition.pdf

Scottish Unions – A joint campaign with environment groups  https://foe.scot/resource/joint-statement-just-transition/

A Just Transition Commission has been established and held its first meeting in January 2019. https://www.gov.scot/groups/just-transition-commission/

Trade Union Clean Air Network (TUCAN) – Clean Air Charter https://www.greenerjobsalliance.co.uk/air-pollution/

Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group (CACCTU) – is a cross-union group and produced the ‘One Million Climate Jobs’ booklet, revised in 2014  https://www.cacctu.org.uk/climatejobs

Yorkshire and Humber Regional TUC has set up a Low Carbon Task Force. https://www.tuc.org.uk/yorkshire-and-the-humber/news/low-carbon-task-force-yorkshire-and-humber

Greater London Authority Environment Strategy 2017  https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/london-environment-strategy

UNITE  https://unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2018/may/government-clean-air-plans-need-to-be-developed-hand-in-glove-with-industrial-strategy/

UNISON ‘Power to the people’ 2019 https://www.unison.org.uk/news/2019/06/nationalise-big-six-create-green-army-help-uk-hit-net-zero-says-unison/

GMB Renewable sector supply chains  https://www.gmb.org.uk/news/joint-union-statement-bifab

PCS publications https://www.pcs.org.uk/resources/green-workplaces

UNISON guidance https://www.unison.org.uk/events/green-unison-week/

Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union – Policy statement


Education International (EI) (the teaching global union federation) issued a statement in March 2019


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