We have less than a decade to launch a rapid and just energy transition. In order to win, we need the workers and the workers’ organizations fighting for climate and social justice at the same time. And this requires better dialogue and stronger alliances between climate justice groups and workers’ organizations. In “Labor in the Age of Climate Change”, we will listen to concrete examples of alliances and convergence strategies as well as reflect upon how a just transition would look like in the Global South and how to win it in the Global South.
4th International Ecosocialist Encounters
23-25 November 2018
More information and registration: www.alterecosoc.org
Panel 1. Labor and Climate: Success stories of political convergence
Rejecting the false dilemma of jobs versus the environment, unions and climate justice groups are building a movement for social and climate justice. In this session, we will listen to various examples of such political convergences, from anti-fracking struggles to public transport campaigns, and many more.
November 24th, Saturday, 10:00
Stefania Barca (Center for Social Studies, Portugal)
Stefania Barca is senior researcher at the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (CES/UC). She has PhD in Economic History from the University of Bari (Italy). She currently coordinates a graduate seminar on Ecological Crisis and Democracy and lectures in Political Ecology at CES/UC. She has served as vice-president of the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH) between 2011 and 2013, and now serves as member of the editorial board of the journal Environmental History. She has published articles in national and international journals in the fields of Economic History, Environmental History, Ecological Economics, and Political Ecology and is the author of two books and co-author of a textbook on environmental history.
Sam Mason (Public and Commercial Services Union, UK)
Sam Mason is a Policy Officer at PCS trade union with a focus on the impacts of climate change and the environment on workers, and the need for a Just Transition to a zero carbon economy. Sam is also a member of the New Lucas Plan project developing a grassroots workers response to multiple crises of automation, militarisation and climate change based on ecologically and socially useful production.
Mikel Noval (Basque Workers’ Solidarity)
Mikel Noval is the responsible for social policy and environment of ELA (Basque Workers’ Solidarity), the largest trade union in the Basque Country. Throughout his political life, he advocated for alternative policy proposals for a social and ecological transition. He also participates in alliances of unions and social movements.
Asbjørn Wahl (Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees)
Asbjørn Wahl has many years of experience in the trade union movement, both at the national and the international level. He has served as President of the Urban Transport Committee of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) as well as Chair of the ITF Working Group on Climate Change. He is also Special Adviser at the broad Campaign for the Welfare State.
Asbjørn Wahl was a founding member of Attac Norway and he is a member of the Co-ordinating Committee of the Alter Summit network, a member of the Global Advisory Group of the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) network. He has published a number of articles on politics, social and labour questions in magazines and books both in Norway and internationally – and the book “The Rise and Fall of the Welfare State” (Pluto Press, London, 2011). He is a Research Fellow of Parkland Institute, Edmonton, Canada.
Moderator: Pedro Miguel Sousa (Climáximo, Portugal)
Panel 2. Climate Jobs Throughout the World
Climate jobs campaigns are showing the way for a just energy transition, addressing the climate crisis with a public service perspective. Providing common grounds for workers’ organizations and climate justice organizations to work together, the campaigns also provide an actual opportunity to win the just transition. In this session, we will discuss the current situation in various countries where the campaign is active (including Portugal).
November 24th, Saturday, 14:00
Ana Mourão (Climáximo, Portugal)
Ana has a PhD in Anthropology and has been involved in climate activism with Climáximo since 2015. She is one of the founders of the Climate Jobs campaign in Portugal, and co-editor of the report “100 000 Empregos para o Clima” (2017). She is also part of Sambacção Lisboa – Rhythms of Resistance since 2014.
Sean Sweeney (Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, US)
Sean Sweeney is the director of the International Program on Labor, Climate & Environment at the Murphy Institute, City University of New York. He also coordinates Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) a global network of 42 unions from 16 countries. TUED advocates for democratic control and social ownership of energy resources, infrastructure and options.
Andreas Ytterstad (Bridge to the Future, Norway)
Andreas Ytterstad is chair of Concerned Scientists Norway. He was author of the first Norwegian Climate Jobs booklet, and one of the leading figures in the Bridge to the Future Alliance and yearly Conference in Norway. In 2018 he was also the program host of a 4 part television series broadcasted on the public Knowledge Channel, based on the Bridge to the Future Conferences. Link to the first program on climate jobs here.
Moderator: Danilo Moreira (Call Center Workers’ Union, Portugal)
Panel 3. Development-as-usual? Challenges in the Global South
While the countries in the Global North must do a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels, the countries in the Global South need to find ways of avoiding to trap themselves in fossil fuel infrastructures and instead invent and implement alternative development models. It is increasingly more evident that this is impossible to achieve within the neoliberal framework. In this panel, we will listen to the experiences of comrades from Brazil, the Philippines and South Africa about the political and ideological challenges in their respective countries.
November 24th, Saturday, 16:00
Daniel Angelim (CSA-CSI, Brazil)
Daniel Angelim graduated from the Universidade Federal Fluminense with a Bachelors of History and a Master of Anthropology. He is now advisor in the area of Environment and Work at the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (CSA-CSI)
Brian Ashley (One Million Climate Jobs Campaign, South Africa)
Brian Ashley is an activist in several movements, he is the founder of the Alternative Information and Development Centre and forms part of its collective leadership. He is also one of the initiators of the Million Climate Jobs Campaign in South Africa. He is also the editor of the anti-capitalist magazine Amandla.
Josua Mata (SENTRO, Philippines)
Josua Mata has been a trade unionist for almost 30 years now. He is currently serving as the Secretary-General of the 100,000-strong Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Mangagawa (SENTRO). Mr. Mata concurrently sits in the Board of Trustees of the Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN), a workers’ education association established by the trade unions.
Moderator: Marie Fages (Climáximo, Portugal)