Motion on Climate Crisis to Unite Policy Conference

Doctors in Unite passed the following motion on 22 January 2023, to be submitted to the Unite Policy Conference in July 2023.

This conference recognises that:

  • Since 2010 Unite policies generally recognise the urgency and need for action to address the climate crisis.
  • Policies can be contradictory. There is continued support for the extraction of fossil fuels alongside policies which support sustainable solutions such as renewable energy.
  • Unite represents workers in many sectors including in the fossil fuel industries. Unite must campaign to protect their interests while using evidence, research, skills and expertise of Unite members to work towards a ‘Just Transition’.

Unite policies include a number of controversial and unproven technologies, often promoted by vested interests, for example:

  • Net zero target, rather than real zero, which allows continued FF extraction with carbon trading mitigations
  • Carbon Capture and storage (CCS) that adds cost and is unproven with no working plants yet established worldwide.
  • Blue hydrogen (with CCS), which is not low carbon
  • New coal, oil and gas (with CCS)

This conference acknowledges that NO NEW fossil fuels should be extracted if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C.

 Therefore, this conference instructs the National Executive Committee to:

  • End support for and campaign against any new fossil fuel development and investment
  • Accelerate the work within its Sectors to develop sustainable alternatives and Just Transition bargaining agendas
  • Review its support for ‘false solutions’ such as Carbon Capture and Storage, blue hydrogen or biomass
  • Commission research and evidence for a Just Transition using the skills and expertise of Unite members, alongside climate justice campaigners. 
  • Campaign for public ownership of the energy industry, including fossil fuel, nuclear, renewable, distributive and large retail companies, so the entire industry can be democratically planned to urgently move to sustainable energy production and protect the livelihoods of all workers in them. Public ownership to be without compensation to those who have taken massive profits, except to shareholders in genuine need including pension schemes, community-owned wind-farms and similar renewable energy schemes.