A New Economy Based on Green Energy

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2009 Energy Service Group Conference
2 March 2009

Conference recognises that many members employed by Energy Companies are suffering from the effects of the current international financial crisis. Although companies continue to report healthy profits, some have implemented cost savings leading to job losses and plans to invest in new greener energy infrastructure have been subjected to further reviews.

Conference believes that both the Government and the Energy industry should seize the opportunities opening up to them to invest heavily in the development of a low carbon economy including in renewable energy and infrastructure, energy reduction initiatives and in clean coal technology. The role of workplace environmental representatives also has a big potential to make an important contribution towards low carbon workplaces and processes.

Conference endorses the Executive’s support for PURGE and its support for the development of clean coal and carbon capture on condition that all new coal fired power stations are capable of capturing 90% of their carbon emissions by 2020. Failure to do so would see their operating license being withdrawn. It also notes that to comply the Government’s target of an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 the energy industry will need to decarbonise itself by 2030. Conference believes that with these targets in place they will provide a clear signal to the Energy Industry that would enable them to plan ahead with more confidence.

Conference calls on the Executive to:

i)Continue campaigning and lobbying for a redeveloped energy industry based on carbon reduction, including through PURGE and the Stop Climate Chaos coalition;

ii)Support branches to press their own employing companies to support UNISON’s strategy for a future green UK energy industry;

iii)Work with branches to explore with companies what measures need to be taken to create the employment opportunities potentially generated by this strategy and to ensure that the right types of training and development are put in place;

iv)Work with branches to secure accreditation, paid release and facilities for workplace environmental representatives by their energy employers especially those required by OFGEM to have regard to environmental issues in their day to day operations.