Please find below a model motion on military spending and climate change from CND’s Trade Union Advisory Group. Please submit it to your trade union branch to then take to regional and national conferences.
This Branch notes that:
1. In January 2024, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists confirmed that the hands of the Doomsday clock remain at 90 seconds to midnight, due to the increasing threat of nuclear war and climate change.
2. The ongoing onslaught on the population of Gaza and the Palestinian people, the wars in Ukraine, Sudan and elsewhere, are helping to fuel these crises.
3. It is estimated that global military emissions contribute 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the US military machine alone is the world’s largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels, producing the equivalent emissions of a country the size of Denmark or Portugal.
4. 2023 was declared the hottest on record following a year of unprecedented heatwaves, drought, storms, and flooding, impacting all corners of the planet. This has devastating, and often fatal, consequences for people everywhere but not least in the global south.
5. The UN Secretary General has said the planet is entering an “era of global boiling”, and even the Financial Times has recognised that we are entering a new era of global warfare.
6. The nuclear power industry is promoting itself as a solution to the climate crisis.
7. The UK Government’s ‘Civil Nuclear: roadmap to 2050’, published in January 2024, makes clear the links between the civilian and defence nuclear programmes.
Our Branch believes that arguing for jobs based on warfare, nuclear weapons, or accelerating climate change, are against our class interests and international solidarity.
Equally the excessive cost of the proposed civilian nuclear programme is more than a financial one, given the environmental and health impacts of uranium mining not least on indigenous communities, and the legacy nuclear waste it leaves for current and future generations.
Further, that already climate vulnerable countries suffer additionally through the carbon costs of military activities, alongside the existing social, economic, and environmental ones.
This Branch deplores the fact that in the midst of rampant energy prices, underfunded public sector services and workers’ pay, the ongoing cost of living crisis and climate crisis, there is always money for war.
This branch resolves to:
i) Campaign for ‘welfare not warfare’ and making the links between the rise in military spending and costs of living and climate crisis.
ii) Emphasise the links between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and to campaign against nuclear power as a false solution to the climate crisis.
iii) Support CND’s national campaign against the AUKUS project.
iv) Promote a programme for defence diversification and transition from fossil fuels as part of an industrial strategy based on socially and ecologically useful jobs.
v) Submit motions to its union’s national conference to overturn the TUC motion CO2 supporting the increase in defence spending and defence manufacturing jobs, based on a just transition for defence sector workers.
vi) Reaffirm that peace is an overriding priority to averting both a nuclear war and the accelerating climate crisis.