Just Stop Oil are today taking more action to demand an end to new fossil fuel licences in the UK, which will disrupt some of your union members working in the fossil fuel industry. While the big energy corporations report astronomical profits and Governments side with them, trade union members all face stagnant pay, ridiculous energy bills, working tirelessly to reach the end of the month….
Our dependence on oil and gas has not only caused the worst cost of living crisis in 40 years – it is driving us to destruction. According to Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor to multiple UK Governments, “What we do in the next 3-4 years, I believe, will determine the future of humanity.” (February 2021). In the latest U.N. IPCC climate report, Gen. Sec. António Guterres states: “The truly dangerous radicals are countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.” In the UK, just a single day of 40°C+ saw rail tracks buckling, rail signalling towers melting, dozens of homes burning down and firefighters reporting their busiest day since World War II. For our government to be actively encouraging new fossil fuel projects rather than planning an orderly and just transition to zero carbon energy sources is immoral and criminal.
If the government really cared about people, we’d see a proper emergency response to the climate and cost of living crisis. Everyone would have their basic energy needs met and bills would be shrunk through a massive programme of insulation, renewables and free public transport, paid for by properly taxing the fossil fuel companies and the rich. They would reform the electricity market so consumers see the benefit of cheap renewables. They would create millions of proper green jobs and see fossil fuel workers and communities supported with fully-funded retraining programmes to ensure no one is left behind. Instead of cutting foreign aid, we’d pay our climate debt. Instead of one rule for us and another for them, we’d all be in it together.
In the face of entrenched power we can no longer be passive. History tells us so. For equal rights, rights to vote, weekends, minimum wage, holiday pay, conditions, etc., many battles have been fought and sacrifices made. It’s our responsibility now to prioritise morality over legality with our actions. Too much is at stake – everything we’ve created and that’s enriched our lives.
Together we are powerful – right now, millions are recognising the power of organised civil resistance. We must stand together across movements for all forms of justice and against all forms of exploitation. Only then will we stand a chance. We’re done with begging. Voting changes nothing. We are going to stop new oil regardless. As citizens, as humans, as parents and children, we have every right to protect ourselves and those we love. We are the last generation that can solve this. Will you step up and join us?
We call for trade unions to push for more substantial climate action, to fight for the futures of members, and for the present for our brothers and sisters around the world. We will continue to stand in solidarity with you on the picket lines, and we ask you to join us on the streets of London on October 1st as we begin our occupation of Westminster – day after day, week after week until THE bare minimum demand is met: no new fossil fuels and a fair transition NOW.