Sixty or seventy people attended the Workers’ Climate Action (WCA) conference in London on 10–11 October. Some had been involved in the network since the beginning, but many were new to WCA.
The first day was made up of workshops aiming to educate activists and provoke debate. Paul Hampton’s session outlined key movement events like the Lucas Plan and the “green bans” movement centred around the New South Wales Builders Labourers Federation and made the case for the importance of working class agency in the fight against climate change. Roger Geffen and Ian Fillingham’s session covered the history and politics of the environmental movement.
The sessions accomplished WCA’s self set task of bridging the divide between the labour movement and the climate justice movement, and prepared activists to take on arguments around worker-led just transition.
The second day was given over to strategising for ongoing campaigns around Vestas, Kingsnorth and Heathrow, as well as looking at education for activists and the development of resources to help the campaign. A long discussion was held over creating structures for the network to help it carry out future work.
The meeting accepted volunteers for a minute taker, a treasurer, a website and e-mail working group and a meetings working group. Though the day was lengthy and at some points arduous, activists attending seemed to feel satisfied with decisions made and prepared to carry them forward. The structure will be reviewed at the next WCA meeting which, it has been proposed, should take place before the end of the year.
The network seems set to grow beyond its work in the last few years, with activists beginning to plan local solidarity work as well as contributing time and energy to big national campaigns. The conference was a great success.