Young Worker’s role in Greening Public Services post COP26

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2021 National Young Members' Conference
26 November 2021

Conference notes that in the wake of the final session of COP26 on Nov 12th which occurred after the closing date for motions to this conference, our world still faces a challenge bigger than anything we have ever encountered before.

Conference notes that the watered-down deal made at COP26 does not go far enough and it is the most vulnerable that will be the hardest hit, with 150 million people forced to migrate because of climate change unless urgent action is taken.

Conference notes the importance of climate change as a trade union issue and notes the publication on Nov 8th of UNISON’s “Greening Public Services” Report during COP26, which states that:

• Getting public services across the “net zero line” will require £140bn of funding by 2035

• Public services represent 8% of the UK’s direct greenhouse gas emissions

• The NHS alone represents about 4% of the UK’s emissions

Conference notes the report emphasises the benefits of engaging workers in the workplace and shines a light on the work that can be done by our members as part of establishing a sustainable path to achieve net zero.

Conference notes that over the last few years, we have seen an increase in young people’s engagement on this issue, and in the wake of COP26, it has only gained momentum and empowered young people across the world to coming together to fight the climate crisis.

Therefore, Conference asks:

1. The National Young Members Forum (NYMF) to work to ensure that young people continue to be involved in the conversation around climate action by promoting UNISON’s Green Network to our young members

2. The NYMF to call on the NEC to encourage branches to adopt the environmental officer role and to actively recruit to fill the position

3. The NYMF to call on the NEC to encourage branches to campaign directly with employers to recognise green/environmental reps and give them time for their activities

4. The NYMF to work to produce campaign resources and training to educate our young members about the climate emergency