This will be a challenging time for all of us and our communities as we face an urgent race to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect lives. It's really important over the next few weeks and months that we look after ourselves as well as look after our planet.
As we do in our climate campaigning we recognise the importance of community and collective action to make changes to systems which are causing damage. We need collective action and community more than ever. We will be wary of actions by government which seek to limit the ability of groups to work together to make or demand the changes that are necessary to protect our health in this emergency and to protect the planet.
As with the climate crisis, so with the coronavirus: the response must be based on the science, which is clear in its call for much quicker testing at scale, as well as effective social distancing. We call for a response which prioritises need not profit. One which supports the poorest and most vulnerable, both in the UK and in the wider global community.
As Trade Unionists we will support the calls to ensure that workers do not pay the price and that solutions to this public health emergency improve workers rights, conditions and income rather than further undermine it. The market has no solutions to the public health crisis as it doesn’t to the climate crisis. We commit to redoubling our efforts to campaign for public ownership of energy systems and transport and call for a huge change in the systems of food production and distribution and other sectors crucial to tackling the public health emergency as well as the climate emergency. We need well paid unionised public sector jobs to be created to tackle the public health emergency as well as a million climate jobs to tackle the climate crisis.
This is an emergency. We are fully committed to work with other environmental groups and wider society to play a part in helping to tackle this public health emergency. It’s clear that government and the economy can take radical action and shift from “business as usual” in an unprecedented way. In response to the coronavirus, this has happened far too slowly and only after mobilisation from below. But it does need to continue and we can see the scale of changes which are possible and well as necessary.
A full just transformation of society is needed in response to the public health crisis and to the climate crisis. So we will also look for ways to continue to ensure that we campaign to tackle a climate emergency which has not gone away. We will campaign to ensure that we do not return to ‘business as usual’ response to the climate crisis either.
Campaign against Climate Change will work with others in the current situation, including working towards COP26 (at whatever time and in whatever form it takes) alongside wider civil society to ensure global leaders do not use the crisis to stall and abandon action on climate change. Please let us know of ideas and thoughts about how we support each other and ensure we are able to mobilise effectively for the action we need to tackle this public health and climate emergency.