As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report makes plain, we need a code red response to a code red emergency, and that applies to the education sector too.
We believe that, as Chair of COP26 it is incumbent on the UK to lead by example, and as general secretaries of education unions we are calling for the UK Government to work up to the vision outlined by Education International in its Manifesto for climate education, so that Climate Change Education is fully embedded in our system.
As you can see from the Report Card that Education International has just produced, based on its analysis of 73 updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) presented for the COP, no country is doing enough to meet the criteria and the UK comes in 42nd out of 73. We are sure that you agree that that is a poor result in both respects. We believe that the Report provides an agenda to inform overall Government thinking between now and the next COP, to make sure that education is firmly integrated into the plans of all Government departments; and with the education profession fully involved in the development of those plans. Continue reading →
The format of the Route to Zero Community Assemblies as hybrid meetings and with breakout groups for small-group discussions is welcome. But the frequency of meetings is completely inadequate to enable effective coverage of the issues.
The Terms of Reference state that there will be 3 meetings of the Assembly a year, each of 2 hours – making an annual total of 6 hours. According to the Route to Zero Report (City Council 12th January 2021) there are 7 priority issues: New Build Housing, Retrofit of Existing Housing Stock, Transport. Electric Vehicle Charging Points, Waste, Energy, and The Natural Environment.
by Jagwant Johal and Siobhan Harper-Nunes, Birmingham Race Impact Group (BRIG)
Following the Black Lives Matter protest in Centenary Square on 4th June 2020, many of Birmingham’s institutions renewed the call for rapid change in the delivery of racial equality. The big question is how seriously will these calls be taken now, and will ‘racial justice’ fall off the agenda, after a series of trumpeted quick wins and displays of public pledges, once the limelight has faded.
Our approach is simple. We ask… ‘How did this start? Where are we now?’ Continue reading →
As part of the international youth mobilisations, Birmingham’s youth climate strikers made a welcome return to the city yesterday, with a rally and march around its centre. Before Covid, the hundreds and thousands that gathered every month, alongside the work of Extinction Rebellion, helped raise the climate crisis up the political agenda and into public consciousness. They also propelled the City Council to unanimously declare a climate emergency in June of 2019.
Then along came the virus, and the regular monthly strikes ceased. The upward momentum of XR was also halted.The number of youth strikers that gathered yesterday was not back to pre-Covid levels, but the old energy and militancy were very much in evidence at the rally and in the streets along the march. As we approach COP26 in November, the numbers can be expected to grow again.
The rally was addressed by two Labour Party councillors (Olly Armstrong and Lisa Trickett), but oddly, not the Green Party. Almost needless to say, there were no messages of solidarity from local MPs, but there were several solidarity speeches, including from the Birmingham Trades Union Council, the divest West Midlands pension funds from fossil fuels campaign and Stop the War.
GKN is involved in the automotive industry, making parts. Melrose, the GKN owners, have decided to shut the Erdington plant down and relocate the work. Here are extracts from Dave Kellaway’s report, 22 September.
What is revealing is the fact that all these companies talk the talk about the transition to cleaner transport but are quite prepared to sack as many workers as they can along the way. The Unite union in Birmingham has drawn up a transition plan that would save their jobs – perhaps the first since the famous Lucas Aerospace plan decades ago. An all-out strike was called to begin on 27 September but has since been postponed to 18 October pending the outcome of negotiations of ‘all the stakeholders’.
Here is Frank Duffy the Unite convenor at the plant giving some more detail. Continue reading →
This meeting is a callout to organise for the 6th November when we hope that at least 250,000 people will take to the streets in Glasgow and in cities across the UK to mark the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on 6th November. Birmingham will host the West Midlands hub protest from 12pm in Centenary Square, B1 1HQ. Be part of making these impossible to ignore.