UK plc must help fight emissions crisis

British workplaces must get serious about reducing waste and conserving energy to ensure the UK meets its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

That was the main message to emerge from a sustainability conference held in London last week by the TUC and the government-funded Carbon Trust.

The ‘GreenWorks’ event saw the publication of a major TUC report outlining the trade union response to what it calls the “carbon emissions crisis”.

The report argues that the UK will fail to meet its emissions target unless it puts major investment into re-training staff and encourages new skills in the environmental technologies industries.

The UK’s minimum target under the Kyoto Protocol – the in-ternational agreement to reduce pollution – is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% below 1990 levels by 2012. The government is committed to going beyond that target.

However, the report suggests that many employers appear to be sceptical about sustainable development and believe it is not in their best interests to have staff undertake such training.

Unions are of the view that for sustainable development to be successful, it should be a compulsory subject in all training, especially in Modern Apprenticeship schemes.

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