Caravan for climate jobs kicks off UK tour

The Climate Jobs Caravan launches tomorrow, in both London and Edinburgh, with the aim to push the UK government to create climate jobs to tackle both the climate and the financial crisis.

The Caravan will travel both in the North and South of the country, with rallies in cities from Edinburgh, Leeds and Stoke-on-Trent to London, Brighton, Oxford and Cardiff.

It follows the example of the Trans Africa Caravan of Hope, which carried the message of climate justice to the UN talks in Durban.

Josh Moos from the Climate Jobs Caravan writes for RTCC about why they have organised the event.

The Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group says that green jobs could tackle both the financial crisis and the climate crisis (© Harlequin Colors/Creative Commons)

It’s called ‘The Climate Jobs Caravan’.  It will travel over 20 towns and cities in Scotland, England and Wales in a tour organised by the Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group.

The southern leg will start on the 12th May in central London and the northern leg starts on the same day in Edinburgh.  Throughout the tour, there will be meetings, publicity stunts, cycle rides and the spread of information about Climate Jobs.

The message of the tour is simple:  the creation of climate jobs – in public transport, home insulation, and renewable energy – can help solve both the economic and climate crisis.

Climate change is not a distant future. Its effects are being felt today. Britain has just experienced its driest March in 59 years with nationwide drought a looming possibility.

But it’s not just Britain that is being hit by extreme weather. 2010 saw the warmest summer in 500 years in Eastern Europe, killing thousands and devastating crops. That same year, the worst flooding in Pakistan’s history occurred, killing 1,500 people.

According to the Nature Climate Change Journal, extreme weather events have increased over the past decade and are very likely caused by human-induced global warming.

At the same time, austerity is ripping people’s lives apart. The UK currently has its highest levels of unemployment in a generation. According to government figures, 2.67 million people are currently unemployed in Britain.

This figure understates the real number. In addition, 22.2% of 16-24 years are unemployed.

The group are calling on the government to drive the formation of a million climate jobs to tackle the country's unemployment (© Campaign against Climate Change Trade Union Group)

The Campaign Against Climate Trade Union Group (CACCTU) believes that these two crises do not have to be understood separately.

Instead, we should unite the struggles emphasising the need not only to tackle the economic crisis and get people into jobs, but also put forward a positive programme to address rising CO2 emissions and reduce the prospect of catastrophic climate change.

In 2010, the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group published the pamphlet ‘One Million Climate Jobs’.

It outlines how when unemployment is at its highest in a generation and climate catastrophe is looming, what is required is a National Climate Service – much like the way the government used to run the NHS – which could provide one million climate jobs, in particular in renewable energy, transport and housing.

At a time of rising unemployment and further cuts, the Climate Jobs Caravan could not come at a better time.

Rather than asking for people to work for free doing workfare, we want to demand the government creates climate jobs that help reduce both emissions and unemployment.

Have your say, does the country need a National Climate Service to help create climate jobs in the UK? Let us know what you think on our facebook page, on twitter @RTCCNewswire or email [email protected].

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