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The Green Workplace
Sign up for UNISON Scotland's Green Network updates
If you would be interested in receiving occasional email news about climate change issues and events that are relevant to UNISON members, sign up for UNISON Scotland's Green Network updates. Just send your email address to Fiona Montgomery f.montgomery@unison.co.uk asking to be added to the mailing list

Why energy policy should be devolved:

Dave Watson's blog 21 October 2014

#BeBrilliant for the planet - Earth Hour 2014

Earth Hour
Previous news


On Saturday 29 March lights will go off for an hour at iconic landmarks around the world – and on the UNISON Scotland website! (See here)

UNISON Scotland is once again supporting WWF's Earth Hour, which this year takes place on Saturday 29 March 2014 at 8.30pm.

Earth Hour 2014 asks us all to #BeBrilliant for the planet. Taking part can be as simple as 'just' switching off the lights for an hour but in doing so you're part of the world's biggest celebration to highlight the need for action on climate change.

And of course everyone can take part - both at home and often at work. Many public bodies in Scotland are already involved and if your employer isn't you could ask them to sign up.

For lots more information from WWF about why we're all doing this, about taking part, and to sign up, click here.

This toolkit was developed for UNISON branches and has a range of good ideas for Earth Hour activities.

In 2012 WWF and UNISON Scotland put together a special toolkit for branches, available on both websites.

It is a great event to get involved in as part of green workplace campaigning - and the pack can also be used to start planning early for Earth Hour 2014!

Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary, said: “Climate change is an urgent health and safety issue for the planet and its people. Earth Hour is a brilliantly imaginative way to highlight the need for action and to celebrate our world.”

The annual WWF hour-long power switch-off has become a global phenomenon with a key environmental message. Previous years saw iconic landmarks around the world, including Edinburgh Castle, Sydney Opera House and the Great Pyramids in Egypt plunged into darkness, as well as hundreds of local landmarks in Scotland.

UNISON Scotland supports Earth Hour and works with WWF to encourage branches to promote the event and include it in Green Workplace action.This year a special WWF / UNISON Earth Hour toolkit is available for branches with ideas for activities that could help raise awareness and involve members and the public in taking action on climate change.

Again this year the UNISON Scotland website will also support Earth Hour on the day, with a dark starlit background to symbolise switching the lights off. Full details, including resources and sign up information, are on the WWF website at http://scotland.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/wwfs_earth_hour/

The WWF UNISON toolkit is here pdf


Stop Climate Chaos Scotland: Durban: disappointment as climate talks end

Sunday 11th December 2011: Stop Climate Chaos Scotland today expressed disappointment at the desperate lack of ambition contained within the UN climate agreement in Durban.

Despite the growing warning from scientists, the reality is that this will be woefully insufficient to avoid global temperatures rising by more than 2 degrees, as was committed to at the talks last year in Cancun.

Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland said:

"It is really disappointing to see such a desperate lack of ambition resulting from the Durban talks. What we are left with falls short of what scientists say will be needed to avoid runaway climate change.

Read more and the SCCS blog from the talks. Also International Trade Union Confederation response to Durban outcome is here


Two ways to help keep the pressure on... SCCS bike stunt and Earth Hour 2012

Get on yer bike on 11th January!

SCCS needs your help with our campaign stunt
When: Wednesday 11th January 2012, 1pm
Where: St Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh

We need your help for just one hour to urge Scottish Ministers to increase funding for cycling and walking instead of funding expensive road-building programmes that will increase Scotland’s carbon footprint.

Scotland has shown global leadership by setting the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world. But our Climate Change Act can only set a good example if we actually achieve what we’ve committed to do – and that’s under threat, as the Scottish Government has failed to fund its own plans to reduce emissions.

(Thanks to all those who helped ask the Scottish Government to put its money where its mouth is. The Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee has urged the Scottish Government to ensure that all proposals and policies in the RPP, and any future revisions of the RPP, are fully funded, in order to meet the targets set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.)


Earth Hour 2012

Earth Housr 2011Earth Hour 2012 takes place on Saturday 31 March and branches are being encouraged to get involved.

The annual WWF hour-long power switch-off has become a global phenomenon with a key environmental message.Last year saw iconic landmarks around the world, including Edinburgh Castle, Sydney Opera House and the Great Pyramids in Egypt plunged into darkness, as well as hundreds of local landmarks in Scotland.

UNISON Scotland supports Earth Hour and works with WWF to encourage branches to promote the event and include it in Green Workplace action.This year a special WWF / UNISON Earth Hour toolkit is available for branches with ideas for activities that could help raise awareness and involve members and the public in taking action on climate change.

It’s a great opportunity to get people talking and provide information on why climate change is such a threat and what we can do about it.Public bodies in Scotland have a strong track record now of supporting Earth Hours, with all councils signing up last year. But branches can encourage joint planning with employers for the 8.30pm one hour electricity switch off and for events organised in the run up to 31 March to promote Earth Hour.

This year the UNISON Scotland website will also support Earth Hour on the day, with a dark starlit background to symbolise switching the lights off. Full details, including resources and sign up information, are on the WWF website at http://scotland.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/earth_hour_201222/

The WWF UNISON toolkit is here pdf


SCCS E-Action: Ask the Government to put its money where its mouth is

Autumn update
7 September 2011

Scotland’s Climate Change Act is world-leading but it'll be impossible to meet our commitments if there isn't adequate funding.

UNISON and other organisations in the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition are urging members and supporters to write to MSPs in September, calling for climate change action to be properly funded.

The Scottish Government is planning next year's budget now for Parliament to consider – you can help put the pressure on to ensure they allocate enough money for action on climate change - such as insulating housing and providing better public transport.

To take part in the SCCS E-Action click here (A full briefing on the budget letter writing campaign is here)

SCCS evidence to Finance Committee on preventative spending

SCCS told MSPs that tackling climate change is one of the most important pieces of preventative spending that Scotland, and the rest of the world, must make in order to avoid disastrous social and economic impacts, many of which will fall hardest on the poorest and least able to respond.

The key point: SCCS calls on the Finance Committee to recommend that this budget must, as a minimum, fully fund all of the measures set out in the Government’s own plans to meet our climate change targets as set out in Low Carbon Scotland: The Report on Proposals and Policies.

SCCS evidence in full. UNISON Scotland evidence, including a section on climate change.


STUC conference on low carbon economy, green workplaces, skills and Just Transition

Trade unionists from across Scotland will be taking part in the STUC climate change conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday 4 October 2011. Details here.


New SCCS film marks 2 year birthday of climate change law

Tuesday 21 June 2011:

The world leading Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 is two years old. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has made a short film to show to campaigners for similar legislation in other countries how members, including UNISON, helped shape the Act.
Read more at: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scottish-act-film


New Scottish Government must deliver on climate change

Monday 9 May 2011:

SCCS logo23 senior representatives from Scotland's largest civil society coalition, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), have today handed a giant postcard to the new Scottish Government urging them to turn manifesto promises into political reality and make action on climate change a priority for the next five years.

Tom Ballantine, Chair of SCCS said: "Climate change is already having a severe impact on people and nature around the world and it is the responsibility of the next Scottish Government to help reduce that impact by ensuring the fine intentions of our world-leading Climate Change Act translate to a reality.

"Our message to the incoming Government, as well as to newly elected and returning MSPs is simple, it's now time to act on climate change and demonstrate to other countries that it is possible to not only set tough targets, but to deliver on them."

SCCS is calling for specific action on its top four priorities for early action in the new session of Parliament:

1. A Green Procurement Bill
Introduce a new Bill into Parliament to enshrine environmental sustainability and ethical considerations at the heart of public procurement.

2. £100m a year for home energy efficiency
Invest an extra £100 million a year, on top of existing funding, to insulate every home in Scotland, to cut carbon emissions in line with our 42% target by 2020 and end fuel poverty by 2016.

3. 10% of the transport budget for active travel
Dedicate at least 10% of the transport budget to invest in walking and cycling for shorter journeys.

4. Commit £9m per year to a climate adaptation fund
Provide £9m each year as climate finance that will enable poor communities living in developing countries to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

You can read a copy of the letter from SCCS to the new Government here (pdf).


E-mail your Scottish election candidates on climate change

Thursday 21 April 2011:

SCCS logoStop Climate Chaos Scotland is asking supporters to take part in the SCCS election E-action.

The aim is to put pressure on our future MSPs to ensure Scotland makes its fair contribution to tackle climate change and achieve the targets in the Scottish Climate Change Act.

This E-action gives you the chance to easily and quickly contact some or all (you decide) of the candidates from the five parties represented in the last Scottish Parliament for whom email addresses are available in your area. The email asks them to prioritise three of the ‘asks’ in the SCCS manifesto:

1. Green Procurement Bill
2. £100m a year for home energy efficiency
3. 10% of the transport budget for active travel (walking and cycling

You can amend the email to suit what you would like to say.
Email your election candidates today



Update Spring 2011 - Climate change and the Scottish elections 

Spring update
21 Feb 2011


All five political parties currently represented in the Scottish Parliament supported the Scottish Climate Change Act (pdf), the most progressive climate change legislation in the world. But now that Scotland has these important emissions reduction targets, we need strong political will to make the right decisions to enable us to meet these targets and play our part in avoiding dangerous climate change.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) will work hard to ensure that climate change does not fall off the political agenda during the Scottish election campaign.

UNISON Scotland has already worked with other SCCS members to agree on the SCCS manifesto for the 2011 elections. This sets out what coalition members collectively believe to be the top ten priorities that must be addressed if Scotland is to truly become a low carbon society. Thanks to the hundreds of people across Scotland who took our email action about the manifesto demands, we’ve let the political parties know that there is public support for these actions.

In the run-up to the election on 5 May 2011, we want to ramp up the pressure and have two exciting parts to the campaign that we hope members across Scotland will want to get involved in: Election Climate Cafes and 2011 elections online & Climate Day 2011


Help keep climate change high on politicians’ agendas. Come to an election climate café!

climate change coaliiton people graphic

Looking for an interesting way to talk to your future politicians?

Then come to one of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland Climate Cafés. You’re invited to take part in an informal and engaging way to ask your parliamentary candidates how they plan to tackle climate change issues if they are elected in the Scottish elections this May.

Climate Cafés are based on the concept of “speed dating”. With a small group of people, you’ll get ten or fifteen minutes to ask questions of your candidate before a bell rings and you move to another table and another candidate. We think that the discussions will be pretty lively, and really show candidates why they should do all they can to tackle climate change should they be elected.

Climate Cafés have already been organised for some of the constituencies where the election battles will be hardest fought: Aberdeen South, East Lothian, Edinburgh Central, Falkirk West, Glasgow Southside and Perthshire North.

You can find out about these and others, and find out how to organise your own climate café, at the SCCS website at www.stopclimatechaos.org/scottish-elections 

Details of confirmed climate cafes:

Glasgow Southside - Note change of venue***
Monday 28th February, 7-8.30pm
Citizens Theatre, 119 Gorbals St, Glasgow G5 9DS.

Falkirk West
Monday 7th March, 7.30-9pm,
St Mungo’s High School, Merchiston Avenue, Falkirk, FK2 7JT 

East Lothian
Thursday 10th March, 7-9pm
Haddington Townhouse, High Street, Haddington, EH41 4DA 

Edinburgh Central
Monday 21st March, 6.30-8.30pm,
Henderson's Cafe, under St John's Church, 3 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH2 4BJ 

Perthshire North
Monday 21st March, 7.30-9.30pm
Airlie Street Hall, Alyth, PH11 8AH

Aberdeen South
Date and venue TBC – check website for details


2011 Scottish Elections Online – and Climate Day Wed 13 April 2011
From March onwards, you can get involved in Scottish Elections Online: a ground-breaking initiative which will enable you to follow and play a vital role in all campaign activities live from your computer or smartphone.

This will include an online climate debate on the evening of Wednesday 13th April. Leading political figures will discuss and debate the questions that you want to ask them via a live online forum where you’ll be able to ask questions while the debate is taking place.

More details will be posted here soon or check for updates at www.stopclimatechaos.org/scottish-elections

To sign up for email updates about the SCCS election campaign, contact gail[at]stopclimatechaosscotland.org (replacing [at] with @)


Earth Hour 2011

UNISON also supports WWF’s Earth Hour. This year it is on the same day as the TUC March For the Alternative on 26 March. You can ask any family,friends and colleagues who aren’t going to London for the march with you to sign up and switch off their lights for an hour that evening. Full details on the Earth Hour 2011 website


Guidance for public bodies on their climate change duties
The Scottish Government has published guidance for public bodies on how they should be putting their climate change duties into practice. UNISON lobbied hard for the duties to be in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act. They will be useful for branches to know about in local campaigns on cuts. The guidance is online at www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/02/04093254/0


STUC climate change conference

Watch this space for details soon of a major STUC climate change conference in May or June 2011. It will focus on job opportunities and threats, identifying how to enhance the STUC-Scottish Government 2009 communiqué on climate change and build TU capacity in workplace and community initiatives.


Autumn 2010 action on climate change – manifestos and MPs
climate change coaliiton people graphic
Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has launched a new manifesto E-action for supporters to help set the agenda for the next Scottish Government. SCCS is also organising the Big Climate Connection lobby of MPs on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November 2010.

UNISON Scotland is part of the SCCS coalition that helped secure the world-leading Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Now we need political parties to deliver policies that will help meet the targets in the Act and prevent runaway dangerous climate change.

Climate ManifestoSCCS has a 10 point manifesto setting out ways in which the Scottish Government, local authorities and communities can all help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The adoption and implementation of the measures in the manifesto will help to ensure Scotland not only meets its legal responsibilities, but: continues to demonstrate international leadership on climate change; supports poor communities living in developing countries to survive and adapt to the effects of climate change; and secures a sustainable, just and prosperous future for people living in Scotland.

‘From rhetoric to reality: a manifesto for climate action’ includes proposals for action on Just Transition, a strategic climate fund for local authorities, green procurement and the integration of health and climate change policies.

Click here to find out more and to take part in the October E-action. This will send a letter from you to the leaders of Scotland’s five main political parties. You will be able to pick your top policy choices from the SCCS manifesto, to ask the political leaders to include those policies in their manifesto for the 2011 Scottish Parliament elections.

And on November 5th and 6th 2010, supporters are being urged to join with others to lobby MPs in their constituencies as part of the Big Climate Connection lobby.

With supporters from more than 100 organisations, Stop Climate Chaos can show MPs that people from all walks of life – from environment to development groups, from unions to local community and health groups - are calling for action on climate change.

November is a key time for climate politics and the lobby aims to influence some big issues:

International: The Big Climate Connection will take place three weeks before the UN Climate Change talks in Cancun, Mexico. The UK should commit to pay its fair share of the money needed to support poor countries who are already affected by climate change.

UK: A new UK Energy Bill will be before Parliament in November.

Scotland: Scotland has the strongest climate change laws in the world and we want to encourage the UK Government and the EU, ahead of the climate change negotiations in Cancun, to follow Scotland’s lead.

Sign up to take part in the Big Climate Connection on 5th or 6th November 2010 or click here to find out more.


UNISON’s green workplace project wins Climate Challenge funding

Stephen Smellie  

Wednesday 31 March 2010:
Public service workers in Lanarkshire today won more than £60,000 for a trade union climate change project UNISON Scotland has congratulated branch members in South Lanarkshire on their successful Climate Challenge Fund bid. The ideas they come up with for greening the workplace could lead the way for similar union work across the public sector.

UNISON South Lanarkshire Branch Secretary Stephen Smellie said:
“We are very pleased to have been awarded funding for our Green Workers project which will help contribute to Scottish climate change targets.

Click here for full press release and links

The wave floods into Glasgow to demand action on climate change

Saturday 5 Dec 2009: 8000 joined The Wave, Scotland's biggest ever demonstration to demand action on climate change - Click here for report and pictures.

UNISON Scotland is urging strong support from branches for The Wave, Scotland's biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change.

The Wave takes place on Saturday 5 December 2009 in Glasgow.

  • Assemble 10.30am Bellahouston Park (south of River Clyde) (getting to Bellahouston info here) (link to bottom of page where info is please)

  • March at 11am to Kelvingrove Park (West End) Rally at Kelvingrove Park from 12.30pm with live music, speakers, a children's tent with activities and other marquees and actions.

  • Full details below and on The Wave website www.the-wave.org.uk/scotland

What's the Wave?

On Saturday 5 December 2009, ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen, thousands of people from across Scotland, from all walks of life, will flow through the streets of Glasgow to demonstrate their support for a safe climate future for all. The Wave is organised by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland.

When and where

Please assemble at Bellahouston Park (north side, near the Palace of Art Centre for Sports Excellence) at 10.30am on Saturday 5th December.

The Wave will start at 11am in Bellahouston Park, south of the River Clyde, and finish in Kelvingrove Park, in the West End, where there will be live music, speakers, a children’s tent with activities and other marquees with members of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition waiting to greet you.

The distance from Bellahouston Park to Kelvingrove Park is around 2½ miles, although the exact route is still being finalised with Glasgow City Council and Strathclyde Police.

Details of the route will be published on The Wave website as soon as they are available.

Find out how to get to Bellahouston Park.

Join The Wave - Scotland’s biggest ever demonstration in support of action on climate change.

We want the UK Government to Share Scotland’s Ambition, Protect the Poorest and Act Fair & Fast.

Branches have been sent posters and flyers. Click here for poster (pdf) and here for A6 flyer (pdf).

Scotland recently passed the toughest climate change laws of any industrialised country in the world. This could help set an example for other wealthy nations - and persuade developing countries, concerned that industrialised countries are not doing enough to prevent runaway climate change, that we are willing to do our bit.

The Wave will be a fun, family-friendly march in Glasgow city centre, where people of all ages and from all walks of life can come together to show their concern about climate change. It coincides with The Wave demonstration in London, organised by Stop Climate Chaos.

Similar demonstrations will be taking place across the world at this time. In order to demonstrate that this issue is important to Scotland, we need as many people as possible to turn out on the streets of Glasgow on 5th December.

Can you help with stewarding? Click here.

If you can help spread the word, see the SCCS mobilisation guide here (click here - pdf)

Let SCCS know you are coming To sign up for the Wave click here www.stopclimatechaos.org/09/oct/wave-scotland-sign-form

Also, you can send an E postcard to help tell people about The Wave and about Scotland’s Climate Change Act. www.foe-scotland.org.uk/thewave

And send us your Mexican waves!!

The Stop Climate Chaos Coalition is building a massive online Mexican wave to show support for The Wave. Everyone’s online waves will spread the word about The Wave. Get on board!

Video you and your friends/colleagues doing a Mexican Wave and send it to SCCS to be put onto You Tube and The Wave Scotland Facebook event. Email them to: mexicanwave@stopclimatechaosscotland.org with your name and where you’re from in Scotland.

Video your wave…

  • Make it fun!
  • Keep it short – 4 seconds or less
  • Film in landscape, not portrait
  • Feature 1-5 people
  • Film the wave starting from the left

In need of some inspiration?

Check out some London Mexican waves here: http://the-wave.org.uk/

For information about discounts on coach travel to Glasgow, or to London if you are joining The Wave demonstration there instead, click here.


Stewarding information

Glasgow Wave

Help get the wave rolling!

To show that Scotland cares about a safe climate future for all, we want to get thousands of people to join the march. To do that, we need volunteer stewards to come along on the day and make sure everyone is safe, has a fun day out, and knows where to go.

We'll make sure you know everything you need to help the campaign and steward the march.

What do you need to do?

Commit to arriving in Glasgow early on the morning of Saturday 5th December and staying until the march is over and everyone has dispersed (from about 9.30am till 3pm).

What's in it for you?

  • Be part of the biggest climate change demonstration in Scotland, ever.
  • Make some excellent contacts.
  • Have fun, and meet like-minded people.

Get involved!

Send a quick email to Gail Wilson at gail@stopclimatechaosscotland.org to let us know you’d like to help out. Please make sure you put "Stewarding the Wave" in the subject field.


Coach offers

Transport Group Stagecoach is supporting The Wave by offering reduced price coach travel to both London and Glasgow on its popular megabus.com services.

The special offer means it will cost you just £2 each way plus a 50p booking fee! Book online at www.megabus.com/uk or by calling 0900 160 0900 (calls cost 60p per minute from landlines, mobile rates may vary).

Bookings can also be made at megabus.com ticket agencies which are located at the majority of the major stops on the megabus.com network.

To get this great offer, when booking, you must quote the promotion code ' RSPB01' This promotion covers travel from anywhere on the megabus.com network to London and Glasgow only and applies only to travel between the first service on 4.12.09 and the last service on 6.12.09.

Passengers travelling to London will be dropped off and picked up at Victoria Coach Station while those travelling to Glasgow will be dropped off and picked up at Buchanan Bus Station.

All megabus.com bookings are subject to the standard terms and conditions - visit www.megabus.com for more information.


Getting to Bellahouston Park from within Glasgow

Buses There are various buses routes from the city centre to the Bellahouston Park. Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central railway stations and Buchanan Bus Station are all only a few minutes walk from these bus routes:

  • First Glasgow Buses: number 3 from Renfield Street or numbers 9, 54 and 56 from Union Street.

  • Arriva buses: number 36 from Union Street.

  • All of these buses travel along Paisley Road West. Get off at the first stop after you cross the M8 motorway, this is the ‘Palace of Art’ bus stop.

Subway If you are arriving in Glasgow by train at Queen Street Railway Station or by bus at Buchanan Bus Station, take the subway from Buchanan Street. If you are arriving by train at Central Station, take the subway from St Enoch. Get off at Ibrox subway station, which is a five minute walk away along Copland Road and then Paisley Road West.

Cycling The park forms part of the Glasgow to Irvine and Ardrossan Cycle Route (Number 75).

Walking access to the park Bellahouston Park can be accessed from Dumbreck Road, Paisley Road West, Bellahouston Drive and Mosspark Boulevard.

Click here for Fiona Montgomery's article in Scotland inUNISON



2008 edition .

Revitalising our environment
UNISON's manifesto for Scotland's environment

Working in UNISON to protect the environment


Public service workers are at the forefront of protecting the environment and the quality of life for everyone in Scotland. UNISON Scotland represents 160,000 members delivering public and related services.

David WilliamsonDavid Wilkinson is a Project Engineer with Scottish Water Solutions, based in Aberdeen. Teams like his around Scotland have made hundreds of environmental improvements in the last few years.These include projects to upgrade waste water treatment facilities so that Scotland can meet new European laws on waste water. Benefits include: cleaner beaches and seas; preventing pollution getting into water courses; protecting key Sites of Special Scientific Interest, bird sanctuaries and other important areas.

Among a number of planned rural projects is one to stop effluent from overloaded septic tank systems seeping into the river Feugh and downstream into the Dee. One small community of fewer than 40 houses near Banchory will be connected to the public sewerage system for the first time. Dave said:"Some untreated effluent is finding its way down into the Feugh, which flows to Banchory. It is affecting the water course which is one of the better known for salmon in the area. Scottish Natural Heritage believes it is very important.We're going to be laying a new sewer through the community, collecting all the effluent and taking it to a new pumping station and from there, via existing mains to Banchory where it will be properly treated.”

We want to highlight the value of quality public services and the ways in which our members contribute directly to environmental protection and action on climate change. Global warming threatens the future of life on earth as we know it.

It already kills 150,000 people annually and causes five million serious illnesses (World Health Organisation). Millions are at risk if nothing is done. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that climate change poses as great a threat to the world as war.

However, we can work together to counter the threat. It is still feasible and everyone can do their bit.

Environmental WardensNorth Lanarkshire Council's Environmental Wardens won a top Keep Scotland Beautiful People and Places Award in 2007. UNISON members Catherine Di Nardo,Angela Jeffrey, and Nykola Munro, are part of the award-winning team of ten wardens, whose efforts improve the environment for people at home and at work.

They arrange for the removal of abandoned cars and other vehicles, investigate fly tipping and litter complaints, enforce smoking legislation, provide educational talks to schools, check vehicle emissions, and work pro-actively with other council departments and external bodies.They can issue fixed penalty notices for littering, fly tipping and smoking offences. Nykola said:"The award reflects the good work carried out by our section in educating people about the benefits of living in a cleaner and healthier environment".

UNISON believes that concerted and fair international action by governments is key. Experts agree that, if there are urgent policy changes at local, national and international levels, we can prevent the worst-predicted effects.

Every country must act to cut carbon emissions. In the coming months and years we will all be making changes in our personal and our working lives. Public opinion has started to recognise the need for action. There is huge concern especially among young people.

We can all take responsibility for the future they deserve.

Peter SingletonPeter Singleton heads up climate change and energy policy at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. His team in the Emerging Issues Unit look at what changes are already underway on rainfall and riverflow in Scotland and plan for adapting to those. They also work with the public and private sectors to cut carbon emissions."SEPA, as every organisation should, wants to embed awareness, understanding and action on climate change into all the work it does” he says.

He is pleased that a number of big businesses say they accept the need for urgent and effective action, but will they take meaningful action? "Talking to business leaders who have seen Al Gore perform, you can see that he clearly hits them between the eyeballs and they walk out with a very different attitude,” he says.

However the message has not got through to everyone."Some smaller businesses are interested and some are setting up new ‘eco' businesses, but others are struggling to keep their business afloat. If we turn up at their door with new regulations, it is the last thing they want to hear.”

He says it is a challenge for the UK government to convince such people they should bear costs which they feel go beyond what other countries are doing.Yet there are business benefits to acting now, and fast.Wind farm technology shows how Scotland could have already been a world leader, as Denmark currently is.

Peter said "We have a phenomenal wind resource but Denmark is the leading manufacturer of wind turbines.Thirty years ago it was the UK. But the investment wasn't continued. People relied on oil. It is important that the present interest in renewable and low carbon technology is followed through to provide Scotland and UK with a new thriving industrial technology”.

UNISON Scotland is a member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland - the first trade union to join.We campaign to green the workplace and to promote sustainable policies for our vital public services.We campaign to eliminate fuel poverty and to promote a balanced energy policy.

Our outlook is international, linking the effects of climate change around the world with campaigns for social justice and access to safe drinking water for all.Our opposition to water privatisation in developing countries is mirrored by our campaign to retain Scottish Water in public control.

Tackling global warming is vital for the health of the planet but there are many other important ways in which a clean and healthy environment around us contributes to overall good health.

Across the country, in rural areas and in towns and cities, thousands of people are working in UNISON to protect the environment for present and future generations.

Graeme ArchibaldSenior Countryside Ranger Graeme Archibald helps protect one of Scotland's most beautiful lochs. He works with nearly 30 rangers who cover the whole of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Nearly all are UNISON members. Graeme and his team on the loch itself ensure the safe and proper use of the water by all visitors, particularly the owners of the 5,500 boats registered there.The National Park's aims include the sustainable use of the area's natural resources and promoting the public's enjoyment and recreational use of all that is on offer there."We offer information and assistance to people using boats.We can support the rescue service by responding to emergency calls.We also do a lot of educational work with schools.” Other staff include wardens who have a range of duties including keeping the loch shores and picnic areas and other parts of the park clear of litter. Sadly too many people drop litter even in such lovely surroundings. However Graeme says his must be the best job in Scotland - to be out in such a scenic area encouraging people to look after the environment globally and locally. Some tasks might seem small - things like advising boat owners against refuelling on the loch due to the risk of spilling, but he says it is all "part of the bigger fight against climate change.”

Public services have a major role to play and all are starting to prioritise green issues with some excellent examples of good practice. All 32 councils have pledged to make significant changes through Scotland's Climate Change Declaration.

Every employer, private and public, large and small, must work to reduce waste, boost energy efficiency and to cut their carbon footprint.

UNISON members work ina wide range of environmental roles including: park rangers; inspectors, scientists and other jobs in the Scottish Environment Protection Agency; council staff across the spectrum of local authority jobs including cleansing, waste recycling, planning, environmental health officers and more; water and sewerage posts in Scottish Water; and health service staff participating in schemes to save energy. They:

 Help protect our rivers, land and the air we breathe

 Provide clean, safe water for home, work and industry

 Keep our towns, cities and countryside clean and tackle noise pollution

 Raise awareness of global warming and other environmental issues

 Support the three Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle

 Promote sustainable ways of living and working

Our members' ordinary every day jobs directly impact on the quality of life and health of Scotland's citizens. They are keeping our communities free of litter, collecting household and business waste, providing healthy food to school children, ensuring new buildings meet stricter environmental and energy efficiency targets and working in countless other ways to make sure we can all enjoy the benefits of modern living in a sustainable way.

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is a key principle in tackling climate change.

Everyone has a role to play and you do too.

UNISON Scotland members are also active in their branches and workplaces, promoting environmental policies and encouraging employers to look at innovative ways of cutting carbon emissions. A list of ten things to do to tackle climate change is below, and is a starting point for action.

Ten things to do to tackle climate change

1 Reduce, Re-use and Recycle - and raise these and the environmental concerns which mean most to you with your elected representatives at surgeries, on the doorstep or by email/letter.

2 Cut energy waste and support renewable energy sources.

3 Get your UNISON branch to raise with your employer the need to develop an environmental policy and strategy, auditing current use and procurement and setting targets to reduce the carbon footprint.

4 Support UNISON's Food for Good Campaign - for healthy, locally sourced food in schools, hospitals, prisons and across the public sector. Including supporting fair trade and organic products.

5 Use public transport and support increased investment in it.

6 Work with your UNISON branch to negotiate a green travel plan at work, with incentives for lower energy transport, cycling, car-share, public transport, walking and the use of lower emissions vehicles.

7 Reduce water consumption at home and at work and campaign against the mutualisation/privatisation of Scottish Water.

8 Find out what your Ecological Footprint is and work to reduce it. In Scotland we consume so much of the world's resources that if everyone on earth used them at the same rate we would need three planets to sustain us all. Information and a footprint calculator at: http://footprint.wwf.org.uk.You don't have to join the Oneplanet campaign to use the calculator.

9 Use tools such as the Ecological Footprint in policy development, monitoring progress and awareness-raising.

10 Support local and global sustainable development policies and hold politicians to account for delivering on carbon emissions reduction targets.

Doing something, even something small, does make a difference. However, individual actions need to support and be supported by action at government level. Effective incentives, targets and penalties must be set locally and globally.We must put pressure on our elected representatives to respond to the best scientific advice and come up with creative, realistic and fair policies.


Manifesto first published 2007
ahead of Scottish Parliament elections
Revised and updated 2008




Environment Manifesto 2008 edition
reVITALise Index

Green Workplace updates (See also B&C briefings)

October 2011: Policy - Public Bodies Climate Change Duties pdf

7 June 2011: Healthier Scotland event
Workforce Carbon Footprint: How Can NHSScotland Staff Help? UNISON Powerpoint presentation

UNISON Green Workplace Handout (Word doc)

October 2011: Policy - Public Bodies Climate Change Duties pdf

November 2010: Consultation on Public Bodies Climate Change Duties - Ensure Scotland’s public bodies report on their climate change work

Autumn 2010: SCCS Manifesto for Climate Action - From rhetoric to reality (pdf) pdf

20 Sep 2010: SCCS calls on Ministers to strengthen climate change legislation (UNISON Scotland blog)

May 2010: UNISON Scotland submission to the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Inquiry: Facing up to Climate Change pdf

31 Mar 2010: UNISON’s green workplace project wins Climate Challenge funding

26 Nov 2009: Welcome for stronger climate change focus for water industry

24 Nov 2009: Climate change is a health and safety issue for the planet – trade unions call for strong Copenhagen deal

9 Sep 2009: Water industry must prioritise new climate obligations, says SCCS

August 2009: UNISON Scotland Briefing 213 - Climate Change Scotland Act 2009 (pdf) PDF

5 Aug 2009: Queen approves Scotland’s world-leading Climate Change legislation

August 2009: UNISON Scotland Briefing 213 - Climate Change Scotland Act 2009 (pdf) PDF

July 2009: Preparing for a changing climate - UNISON Scotland response to Scottish Government consultation (pdf) PDF

July 2009: How the Scottish Climate Change Bill can make a difference in Copenhagen - SCCS (pdf) PDF

June 2009: Motion on climate change agreed at UNISON National Delegate Conference in Brighton

24 June 2009: Scotland leads the world in fight against climate change, says SCCS

9 June 2009: Climate campaigners welcome energy efficiency measures in Climate Change Bill

2 June 2009: SCCS Welcomes Important Climate Change Bill Amendments

26 May 2009: Disappointment as SNP and Labour join to frustrate climate change progress

22 May 2009: Early action in the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill


World Environment Day
on 5 June
Briefing May 2009 (pdf)
Response to Call for Views on the Climate Change (Scotland) Bill (pdf) Feb 2009
UNISON Scotland is a member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and this response complements the SCCS response, which is available at: www.stopclimatechaos.org/
Environment Newsletter Jan 09: Lobby MSPS on Climate Change and See a Film to Change the World!
Climate Change Bill Briefing Dec 2008 PDF
Response to Scottish Government Consultation to inform Scotland's climate change adaptation framework Oct 2008
Climate Change Bill Briefing April 2008
UNISON Response to the Scottish Climate Change Bill proposals April 2008 (pdf)
Green Workplace: Briefing on Protecting the planet - at work June 2007