England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

How you can build for COP26

COP26 protest

The recent report conducted by the IPCC has uncovered the sheer scale of the threat posed to human and animal life by the drastically escalating climate crisis. With this as a backdrop, this November’s United Nations COP26 Climate Change Summit will pose life-or-death questions about how we confront this emergency.

The protests gathering around the conference between 1-12 November has the potential to be a real turning point in the struggle. But the growing list of big business affiliates to the conference shows that any kind of “system change” is off the table for these discussions. System change, however, is the only adequate answer to the problem we face.

This is why International Socialist Alternative will be mobilising its members and supporters across the world, for a mass mobilisation that can send out a clear message: capitalism is killing the planet, and only an international revolutionary struggle for socialism provides an answer!

How can we build right now?

Socialist Alternative members both within the student movement and the trade unions have put together two model motions to be put forward to student bodies and union branches. We want to appeal to the widest number of those supportive of our ideas to move these motions wherever they can, and to share them around to anybody interested in building the widest movement possible.

Mobilising for COP26: Students’ Union Motion

This Students Union notes the opportunities for mobilisation at the Glasgow COP26 event in November. Previous COP events have failed to achieve anything needed to combat system-driven climate change. COP25 mainly consisted of bickering about targets and talks of compromise. Many people, particularly the younger generation realise that this is not enough and are turning to increasingly radical solutions to address the climate crisis.

We have been let down by COP events over the years, and the event this November is a chance for them to voice our call for radical action and change. This Students Union commits to using our resources to actively build and mobilise for the mass protests that will gather around the events. We resolve to work with any forces that want to help in building for this (for instance divestment campaigns, unions and others), but recognise that as the representative of students at [enter university], it is important that we lead the way.

This Students Union stands in solidarity with all those who are concerned about climate change and wants to help them build a coordinated action against the establishment politicians using this COP event for their own ends. Student involvement is key for the resistance against the inevitable failures of COP26. This Students Union should resolve to coordinate activity with SUs at other universities who express interest in attending the demonstration, as well as supporting campaigns to cut ties with fossil fuel companies across universities.

Ensuring that students from around the country are able to attend protests surrounding COP26 is a top priority. Therefore, we resolve that our Union going forward shall:

  • Urgently invest in preparing transport up to Glasgow for the duration of the main conference protest day (November 6). Coaches will be booked, with adequate social distancing in place and PPE provided, as well as providing opportunities for students’ train tickets to be reimbursed.
  • Do active and energetic SU campaigning activities on campus from the freshers period onwards. A target will therefore be set to do frequent campaign stalls to get ‘pledges’ to attend the protests, along with postering to get the message out.

Trade Union Motion: Supporting COP26

This branch notes:

Trades Union Congress policy in favour of environmental sustainability, including “a fair and successful path to net zero emissions” for which “the government needs a co-ordinated industrial strategy which includes the following elements:  An integrated energy policy with a long-term plan for how to reach net zero; Support for specific industries; Investment to support these priorities, with a clear focus on good jobs; An integrated skills policy; A Just Transition commission to ensure that workers’ voice is central to guiding these policies.”

That the “Conference of Parties” is holding its 26th annual meeting (COP26) 1-12 November 2021, in Glasgow

That a day of protests including a major demonstration in Glasgow has been called for Saturday 6 November and is supported by a wide range of progressive campaigns and organisations including many connected with the labour movement.

This branch believes:

That our voice as workers and trade unionists should be heard on the COP26 protests, especially in Glasgow

That we should support the 6 November day of protests including the Glasgow demonstration

This branch resolves:

To circulate all members offering to organise affordable transport to Glasgow for the 6 November demonstration, in line with prevailing Covid guidance

To book transport based on the response to this to enable all members to attend who wish to do so

To call upon the NEC of our union to support this motion

To forward this motion to other bodies of our union and the wider labour and trade union movement, as appropriate, with a view to coordinating local and regional transport arrangements

To contact local ‘climate strike’ and other environmental organisations to discuss collaborative working in relation to transport for 6 November demonstration and related actions which may be organised in our geographical area.


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