Help UNISON prepare for COP27 in Egypt this November

Join UNISON in getting ready for COP27 and the next stage of global efforts to tackle the climate emergency

Green UNISON logo

“The devastating impacts of the climate emergency are being felt across every part of the globe, but they fall heaviest on the disadvantaged. We are determined to be part of the necessary change – trade unions have a vital role to ensure urgent policies and measures deliver a fair transition to a greener planet.”

These are the words of UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea, speaking after this year’s UNISON Green Week at the end of September and as the world – and this union – prepares for COP27 in Egypt next month.

Hard on the heels of UNISON Green Week at the end of September, UNISON is now preparing for COP27 in Egypt as the next mobilisation point on climate change.

The 27th climate conference will be held from 7 to 18 November this year, with over 198 countries invited to take part. World leaders will make key decisions on how countries will commit to tackle the climate emergency.

Trade unions will also take part as observers and use their collective voice to influence decisions, put forward demands for a just transition to a low-carbon economy and hold governments to account.

UNISON will be represented again this year by national executive council member Stephen Smellie, who attended COP26 last year in Glasgow as part of the International Trades Unions Congress (ITUC) delegation on behalf of UNISON, and who represented the union on the COP26 Coalition co-ordinating group that organised the mass demonstrations at COP26 last year.

UNISON is holding one of only two TUC places within the ITUC delegation, and is working hard to promote public services as key models of green transition and to ensure that the voices of public service workers are heard in Egypt.

But the union’s branches and members don’t need to go to Egypt to take part.

The African COP27 coalition, the Climate Justice Coalition (CJC) and other climate justice organisations have come together and announced a Global Day of Action on 12 November.

There will be marches, rallies and local activities across the UK for members to show their solidarity and to demand more from governments across the world on urgent climate action.

More information will be coming in the next few weeks and UNISON is encouraging its branches and members to get involved.

But you don’t need to wait. Here are some things you can do right now.

Sign up to our network to receive green updates including COP27 updates and guidance on green bargaining and being a green workplace rep. 

Sign the petition in solidarity with Egypt’s prisoners of conscience. Egypt is a difficult choice as venue for COP27 due to the government’s many human rights abuses – and the fact there are over 60,000 prisoners of conscience current held in the country’s jails. UNISON is encouraging members to sign this petition calling on Egypt to end the prosecutions of civil society activists and organisations – including human rights defenders.

View this year’s annual Green UNISON Webinar in full.

Run a green workplace training activity. UNISON is developing a range of training materials. Talk to your UNISON learning rep and look into running a lunchtime activity session for green reps and members who’d like to learn more.

Does your UNISON branch have an environment rep? If not, encourage your branch and any interested members to get involved and become green reps. You can find others who share your concerns about climate change and let Green UNISON Week be your springboard into starting a new green UNISON network where you work. Click here and check under ‘resources’ to find out more about what being a Green rep in UNISON is all about.

Find out what your employer is doing to reduce the organisation’s environmental impact. Ask your employer to share this information with UNISON by emailing us here.

Do you work in the NHS? Find out if your trust is signed up to the Food For Life Served Here (FFLSH) campaign.  Find out more here.

Be part of Green UNISON

Use hashtags #GreenUnison in Twitter and Facebook events, photographs and solidarity messages from your branch or as an individual.

Use UNISON’s greening of public services logo in your green work.