Climate crisis is upon us and we all need to learn more about how we fit into the challenge of decarbonisation and the creation of a new green economy.
The “Caring for our climate” event took place on 30 March 2022, and this page is here to allow everyone to benefit from the learning that took place.
This event aimed to transform your understanding of green jobs and show how as a public service worker you are on the front line of responding to the climate crisis. It will inspire you to act.
Speakers & Sessions
Hannah Blythyn MS – Opening Address
Hannah Blythyn is from Flintshire in North East Wales. A proud North Walian she went to school in the constituency she now serves. Hannah was elected as Assembly Member for Delyn for the first time at the 2016 election.
In her first 18 months in the Assembly she chaired the Cross Party Group for North Wales and the Mersey Dee Alliance and sat on the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills and the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committees.
Prior to being elected, Hannah led on political and policy work for Unite Wales, active in a number of successful campaigns that led to legislative action and positive change both in Wales and across the UK. She is also a former co-chair of LGBT Labour and was active in the campaign for equal marriage. On 13 December 2018 Hannah was appointed Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government. Hannah was appointed Deputy Minister for Social Partnership on 13 May 2021.
Outside of politics, Hannah likes spending time outdoors and is a keen cyclist, having previously taking part in a charity bike ride across Kenya.
Dr Emma Fieldhouse – Climate Literacy
Emma’s passion for a sustainable future started with a visit to the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth in her childhood and as her mom says “she’s not shut up about it since“.
Building our sustainable world is exciting – Emma’s enthusiasm, energy & zing have been evident through her own 20 year sustainability journey through and with the public, private, charity & education sectors. Emma is a trustee of charity Change Agents UK.
She works, inspires, grows food, dances and cooks her way into people’s hearts and minds.
Her talk “The importance of Climate Literacy for Workers” introduced us to the powerful idea of climate literacy and the amazing and fun “How Bad Are Bananas?” game, a great way of building climate literacy in schools and workplaces.
Maeve Cohen – Care Work as Climate Work
Maeve is an activist, researcher and campaigner working to build inclusive economies that serve people and planet. She is Project Lead at the Social Guarantee. She co-authored a paper for the Women’s Budget Group and Women’s Environmental Network on a Feminist Green New Deal and continues produce independent research for this project.
The “Care work as Climate Work – redefining Green Jobs” workshop focused on the role of public services during and after a just transition. Too often calls for decarbonising our economy focus on electric vehicles and renewable energy. Whilst these things are important, they do nothing to address social inequality. As well as decarbonising high polluting sectors such as construction and transport, we must also expand already low-carbon, labour intensive industries that exist in every neighbourhood in the country: care, education and health. Care jobs are green jobs and a low-carbon economy must put care at it’s core.
Isla Horton – Growing Food at Work
Isla is the co-founder of the innovative local climate, food and wellbeing group Grow Cardiff, which works with urban communities and marginalised groups in our capital to help them to grow (and cook) food.
Recognised as a leader in “Social Prescribing”, Grow Cardiff’s partnerships with local public service workplaces – particularly schools, doctors surgeries – will provide you with inspiration to get involved in practical action in your area to help allieviate lonliness, food poverty, mental health crisis and the climate crisis.
Her talk “Growing Food at Work” provides 30 minutes of positivity and hope in dark times.
Rob Abrams – Health & The Green New Deal
Rob is an organiser with a background in the UK’s climate movement. Having been involved in networks such as People & Planet and Climate Camp, he has experience campaigning around a number of areas related to climate justice including but not limited to divestment, ending fossil fuel sponsorship of the arts and opposing major extractive projects.
As well as organising, he studied Transitional Justice and Social Policy at university, building an interest in systemic approaches to climate action.
Rob is the MedAct campaign group’s Climate & Health Lead, supporting members and partners to organise the health voice on climate issues. He presented their work on building Health for A Green New Deal, a movement of healthcare workers in the UK concerned about the climate crisis in his “The Green New Deal and Public Services” morning workshop.
Richard Speight – UNISON, Climate & Your Workplace
Our WULF Project Manager in north Wales has a background as a political science tutor and is an equalities campaigner in the world of football and beyond. He is also a trained staff-side Green Rep within UNISON.
Rich took a pledge during his climate literacy training during the pandemic to integrate climate action into UNISON Cymru Wales’ learning programme, and as a result has been running our bespoke Greening Your Workplace and Climate Action at Work webinars for the past year.
He plays an active role in UNISON’s Green Forum, has coordinated this event today, and will chair the afternoon discussion “UNISON, the Climate and your Workplace” where practical examples of how workers can negotiate with employers around decarbonisation will be presented alongside UNISON’s pioneering academic work on the subject.
Watch the Whole Event
The “Caring for our Climate” was live streamed on our Facebook page (7 hours – including breaks and discussions)
An exciting line-up of speakers including activists, academics and educators was assembled. Here’s the running order for the day:
Opening Address from the Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, Hannah Blythyn MS
“The importance of Climate Literacy for Workers” by Dr Emma Fieldhouse, The Future We Want
“Care work as Climate Work – redefining Green Jobs” by Maeve Cohen from The Social Guarantee
Growing Food in Workplaces & Communities Isla Horton – Grow Cardiff
“UNISON, the Climate and your Workplace” by Richard Speight & Guests
Video Showcase – A Message from the Future II YouTube
“How Bad are Bananas?” Climate Game Workshop by Dr Emma Fieldhouse
“The Green New Deal and Public Services” by Rob Abrams, MedAct – Health for a Green New Deal
Discussion with the audience:
- How will you help to green your workplace this year?
- How can we grow the message that health, care and education are green jobs for the future?
- Wales TUC Greening your Workplace Toolkit
- UNISON Green bargaining and negotiating in the workplace
- TUC Go Green At Work
Important documents for your negotiations:
- Welsh Government Workforce Partnership Council Agreement – November 2021
- Welsh Government’s Climate Emergency Declaration
- Welsh Local Authorities’ Climate Emergency Declarations
- NHS Wales Decarbonisation plans
- Welsh Local Government Association – Decarbonisation Action Plans
- Climate Change Committee – Local Authorities and the 6th Carbon Budget
UNISON Cymru Wales “Growing Food At Work
A new webinar to help everyone get started with growing some food at work designed & delivered by Unlocked Learning Cymru.
- Why grow food at work?
- Working with your employer
- What could you grow?
- How to plant seeds
- Looking after your plants
- What can you make?