Climate Jobs Now!: Organizing Campaigns for Transitioning to Low Carbon Economies

This session will discuss the organizing of ‘one million climate jobs’ campaigns in several countries around the world. These campaigns arise out of two converging conditions, namely, increasing mass unemployment due in large measure to austerity measures being invoked to salvage a broken economic model and the corresponding prospects of catastrophic climate change mainly due to the spewing of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by carbon polluting industries. Tackling the climate crisis of our times demands changing the prevailing economic model. Transitioning to and building a low carbon economy for the future is imperative. Originally, the ‘one million climate jobs’ campaign was developed by progressive labour unions and civil society organizations in both South Africa and the United Kingdom. The campaign has to do with opening or reviving sectors of the economy to create new decent jobs that contribute both to the reduction of carbon emissions and the advancement of social equity at the same time. This session will explore strategies proposed for creating new climate jobs in energy, transportation, and construction, plus water, health care, waste management and other sectors of the economy. Strategies from both the global south and north will be considered along with the corresponding challenges to be undertaken by governments. Activists from progressive labour unions, environmental organizations, youth and social justice groups are encouraged to participate. The session will be participatory, drawing from the interests and experiences of the participants as well as inputs from several resource persons.


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