Combating climate change will increasingly impact on production industries and the workers they employ as production changes and consumption is targeted. Yet research has largely ignored labour and its responses. This book brings together sociologists, psychologists, political scientists, historians, economists, and representatives from international and local unions based in Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Taiwan, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA. Together they open up a new area of research: Environmental Labour Studies.

The authors ask what kind of environmental policies are unions in different countries and sectors developing. How do they aim to reconcile the protection of jobs with the protection of the environment? What are the forms of cooperation developing between trade unions and environmental movements, especially the so-called Red-Green alliances? Under what conditions are unions striving to create climate change policies that transcend the economic system? Where are they trying to find solutions that they see as possible within the present socio-economic conditions? What are the theoretical and practical implications of trade unions’ "Just Transition", and the problems and perspectives of "Green Jobs"? The authors also explore how food workers’ rights would contribute to low carbon agriculture, the role workers’ identities play in union climate change policies, and the difficulties of creating solidarity between unions across the global North and South.

Trade Unions in the Green Economy opens the climate change debate to academics and trade unionists from a range of disciplines in the fields of labour studies, environmental politics, environmental management, and climate change policy. It will also be useful for environmental organisations, trade unions, business, and politicians.

chapter |12 pages

Mending the breach between labour and nature

A case for environmental labour studies
ByDavid Uzzell, Nora Räthzel

part |74 pages

Trade union perspectives

chapter |12 pages

From sustainable development to a green and fair economy

Making the environment a trade union issue
ByLaura Martín Murillo

chapter |17 pages

The International Labour Organization and the environment

The way to a socially just transition for workers
ByLene Olsen, Dorit Kemter

chapter |14 pages

Moving towards eco-unionism

Reflecting the Spanish experience
ByBegoña María-Tomé Gil, Agustín González

chapter |9 pages

Cars, crisis, climate change and class struggle1

ByLars Henriksson

part |170 pages

Analyses of trade union environmental policies across the globe

chapter |12 pages

The neo-liberal global economy and nature

Redefining the trade union role
ByJacklyn Cock, Rob Lambert

chapter |15 pages

From ‘jobs versus environment' to ‘green-collar jobs'

Australian trade unions and the climate change debate
ByVerity Burgmann

chapter |16 pages

Just transition and labour environmentalism in Australia

ByDarryn Snell, Peter Fairbrother

chapter |17 pages

Will they tie the knot?

Labour and environmental trajectories in Taiwan and South Korea1
ByHwa-Jen Liu

chapter |17 pages

Green jobs? Good jobs? Just jobs?

US labour unions confront climate change1
ByDimitris Stevis

chapter |18 pages

US trade unions and the challenge of “extreme energy”

The case of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline
BySean Sweeney

chapter |13 pages

From blue to green

A comparative study of blue-collar unions' reactions to the climate change threat in the United States and Sweden
ByMeg Gingrich

chapter |14 pages

Trade unions and the transition away from ‘actually existing unsustainability'

From economic crisis to a new political economy beyond growth
ByJohn Barry

chapter |16 pages

Local place and global space

Solidarity across borders and the question of the environment
ByDavid Uzzell, Nora Räthzel