Motion passed at NEU annual conference 2024

Conference recognises that
1. Climate change is happening now, with workers across the world already losing lives, livelihoods, food, access to water, homes, facing unbearable working conditions and forced migration.
2. The International Energy Agency states that keeping below an increase of 1.5C will only be possible if wealthy countries like the UK step up their ambition and action; with no room for new fossil fuel development.
3. 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.
4) An annual investment of at least £28 billion a year (1% of GDP) is needed to make up for decades of underinvestment in infrastructure and put the UK on track to meet its carbon reduction targets. This needs planning across government and to be driven by unions and communities and will pay for itself many times over.
Conference condemns:
(a) The government's retreat from climate plans already ruled inadequate in court to meet Net Zero targets, and its commitment to further extraction of oil, which puts our future and that of our students at risk.
(b) The government's 'pro-motorist' policy, which will increase air pollution, and threaten initiatives such as school streets.
(c) The Labour leadership's retreat from a commitment to the necessary level of investment, which leaves its economic programme without an engine, will lead to climate targets being missed, fuel bills remaining high, potential jobs being lost.
Conference calls for the union to campaign:
I For the level of state led investment needed to address the crisis and make adequate compensation for the UK's huge historic contribution to greenhouse gases.
II For a NEU year of climate activism, along with other unions, by no later than 2026 with all appropriate organising and operational support starting now to highlight and amplify our response to the climate emergency and the role of Environment officers within Districts.
III No new fossil fuel exploration
IV A National Climate Service to oversee national planning and Just Transition bodies in every sector, including: 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 to fulfil Article 12 of the Paris Agreement
V A specific just transition body within the education sector both to facilitate that campaign and oversee plans to retrofit every school, college and university to zero carbon standard by 2030, with an aim of becoming net energy generators.
VI. Call upon Districts to establish local versions of this structure.
VII Districts to call upon members to work with sustainability leads to build Teach the Future's Curriculum for a Changing Climate into long term planning.