The climate crisis is a class issue

Working people must not be left behind in a transition from carbon. The costs must fall on those most able to pay.


Commenting after the passing of motion 28 at NEU Annual Conference, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“Workers across the world are already losing lives, livelihoods, food, access to water and homes, as well as facing unbearable working conditions and forced migration due to climate breakdown. 

“The International Energy Agency states that keeping below an increase of 1.5°C will only be possible if wealthy countries like the UK step up their determination and action. According to the Global Carbon Project, the EU and UK combined are responsible for 22% of all previous global emissions, whereas the significantly larger African continent is only responsible for 3%. 

“The NEU believes a just transition to a decarbonised economy and society must be led by state investment, and the costs must fall on those most able to pay through a fair and progressive tax system. 

“We have signed a joint letter orchestrated by the Education Climate Coalition. The letter highlights the lack of ambition from the Government when it comes to the sustainability of our school buildings and teaching climate change across the whole curriculum. The letter also raises concerns about the delivery of current policy targets set by the Department of Education. 

“Working people must not be left behind in a transition from carbon. This should include retraining workers in contracting sectors, guaranteeing union rights in expanding sectors, promoting direct labour organisations, public and community ownership, and coordinating across government a huge public education campaign. 

“In the education sector, the Government must facilitate the retrofitting of every school, college and university to zero carbon standard by 2030. This means safe, energy saving and resilient buildings to manage the increasingly frequent extreme weather events. 

“An enriching, thriving education system needs a stable climate. If we fail to act now, it is our children who will experience the worst consequences.”

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