Climate campaigners gathered in London and Edinburgh yesterday (Saturday) to wave off the Caravan for a Million Climate Jobs on its tour of Britain.
The caravan is part of a campaign for the creation of climate jobs as an answer to both rising unemployment and runaway climate change. Such jobs could include those in renewable energy, public transport and building sustainable homes.
It has been organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change and is set to visit 24 towns in two weeks on two routes around Britain.
Opposite parliament in London, around 30 supporters were addressed by John McDonnell MP, who stressed the impact of protests against a third runway at London Heathrow airport.
Other speakers included Murad Qureshi, chair of the London Assembly's environment committee, as well as Graham Petersen of the UCU union—one of the unions that commissioned the Million Climate Jobs report. Peter Colville of Occupy and Francesca from UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) also spoke.
Outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, supporters included MSPs from the Labour Party, Green Party and Scottish National Party, and representatives of UKYCC and the Unite union.
“It was seen as part of a challenge to the government's austerity programme,” John Stewart from the Campaign Against Climate Change told Socialist Worker. “There is a lot of support in Scotland for investing in climate jobs—real jobs.”
Official figures put unemployment in Britain at more than 2.6 million. And climate scientists warn that without a massive reduction in carbon emissions, the coming decades could see global warming reach “tipping points” from which there is no return. But the resources exist that in a rational economy could solve both these problems.
The caravan was next set to visit Newcastle and Coventry on Sunday, followed by Derby and Cardiff on Monday.
To find out when the caravan will be visiting a town near you see www.climate-change-jobs.org
Send reports and photos of how you are welcoming the caravan to firstname.lastname@example.org