Monday, January 11, 2010

Let's Keep the Blue Green Movement Moving!

By Ken Delaney for Blue Green Canada
Ken Delaney is the Assistant to the National Director of the United Steelworkers Union and Co-Chair of Blue Green Canada.

There is a lot of dissatisfaction among environmentalists and trade unionists with the outcome of the Copenhagen talks. World leaders did not get the job done and a lot of work remains.

But still, I could not not help but be moved by the number of environmental and trade union activists that showed up in Copenhagen. And I could not help feeling that a new emerging alliance between the labour and environmental movements has some real potential.

Together we have more credibility and a stronger voice that we do individually.

We did bring our message to Canadian provincial politicians, municipal politicians, and to representatives of the Government of Canada. We also forged relationships with environmentalists and trade unionists in the United States, and with other Canadian trade unionists and environmentalists. As we continue to advocate for effective climate change policies and green job strategies, these relationships will prove valuable.

It was a pleasure to work with people who believe that economic activity can and should be regulated in a way that both protects our climate and provides good jobs for all. It is that commonality of thought, and a shared belief that both goals can be achieved, that binds the alliance together and forms the foundation of a new partnership.

We have a lot of work to do. We have to hold governments accountable when they fail to act, and we have to acknowledge them when they do. We have to advocate effective policies, and we have to raise awareness of both the importance of addressing the issues and of the solutions we propose.

I think both trade unionists and environmentalists will be more effective in doing so if they can do it together.

Let's keep the Blue Green Movement moving!

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