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Climate Jobs and
a Just Transition

9 Nov 2019

By Mon 21 Oct 2019April 27th, 2020CLIMATE CHANGE, Events

This event is now over

You can READ our report here:
VIEW our videos of the event here
SEE our photos of the event here.


BOOK LAUNCH: Facing Up to Climate Reality: Honesty, Disaster and Hope
FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2019   –   19:00 to 21:00
Venue: Canada Room, Queen’s University Belfast.

We are used to hearing that the climate crisis is serious, but still solvable if we start acting on it soon. The reality is different. Things are going to get much worse, for a long time, whatever we now do – which hardly anyone wants to admit.

This book from the Green House collective offers climate honesty. The time for focusing primarily on mitigation is over. We now need to adapt to the dark reality of climate breakdown. But this means a deep reframing of our entire way of life. The book explores how transformative adaptation might enable us to confront escalating climate chaos while not giving up hope.

Facing up to Climate Reality is a book for those brave enough to abandon the illusion of continuing normality, and embark on a harder, truer journey.

Speaker: Jonathan Essex is a chartered engineer and environmentalist. He combines working in international development with serving as a Green Councillor in Surrey.

Event Details


Green European Foundation, with the support of Green Foundation Ireland, invite you to a one-day Conference:

Responding to our climate and ecological emergency

SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2019   –   10:00 to 17:30
Venue: Canada Room, Queen’s University Belfast.

Book Here


While admission is FREE to this event, registration is REQUIRED.
Please secure your place by booking here.


Queen’s University Belfast is easy to reach by a reliable and frequent bus and train services, making for a green and stress-free way to get there.

All you have to do on arrival at Belfast Central train station is cross to the next platform and take a train to Botanic Station, then it’s a short stroll to Queen’s University! Your ticket from Dublin even covers your entire journey to Botanic Station. Here is a map of how to get from Botanic Station to Queen’s University – it will take approximately 5 minutes to walk.

Returning is just as easy, with the last train to Dublin departing from Belfast Central at 20:05, arriving into Dublin Connolly at 22:17.


Our PROGRAMME OF EVENTS (last updated on 2 Nov 2019) is available here.

Further updates on this event will appear on this page.

Event Programme

10:00 to 11:00:
Climate Jobs Report by Green House Think Tank
Speakers include:
Jonathan Essex (Green House Think Tank)
Peter Sims (Green House Think Tank)

11:00 to 12:00:
Place-based Policy Alignment and Just Transition
– The Belfast Climate Commission

Speakers include:
Damien McIlroy (Queen’s University Belfast)
Clare McKeown (Belfast City Council)
Amanda Slevin (Queen’s University Belfast / Place-based Climate Action Network)

12:00 to 13:30:
Trade Unions and Just Transition
– From Origins and Context to Practice and Policies

Speakers include:
Sean McCabe (TASC)
Sinéad Mercier (National Economic and Social Council)
Stiofán Ó Nualláin (Trademark Belfast)

14:30 to 15:30:
A Global Green New Deal for People
– Why We Need a Just Transition

Asad Rehman (War on Want)

15:30 to 16:30:
Fuelling the Just Transition – The Role of Non-Carbon Energy
Speakers include:
Juliana Early (Queen’s University Belfast)
Andy Gouldson (Leeds University / Place-based Climate Action Network)
Paul McCormack (Belfast Metropolitan College)

16:30 to 17:30:
Political Party Panel

As always at our events, an important part will be the Q&A sessions which will allow full participation by those attending.


While the transition to a low carbon economy is now more likely, whether that transition is just or not is an open question.

As a society we have passed a ‘tipping point’ on addressing the climate and ecological crisis; politicians and decision-makers globally are ‘playing catch up’ with recent mobilisations demanding greater and faster action on our climate crisis. The most recent climate science stresses the scale and urgency of reducing greenhouse emissions. In order to meet the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement to stay below two degrees warming, global emissions will have to peak less than a year from now and thereafter reduce by more than seven percent annually. If we want to meet the goal of the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that is the lower and safer 1.5 degree warming target, we require ‘far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ with reductions of between 30-50 percent in global emissions by 2030 in energy, land use, transportation and agriculture. We desperately need leadership to meet this challenge. If we are serious about creating a green and sustainable economy, we need to transition to a green economy though policies such as a Green New Deal and a Just Transition. The trade unions have a vital part to play in this transition and struggle for a more sustainable, climate resilient and less unequal economy.

Some questions this Conference addresses include:

  • At this time of growing popular and political acceptance of the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, do we need a ‘wartime mobilisation’?
  • And does this mean nationalisation of the energy system to deliver a just transition?
  • How do we ensure that in moving from fossil fuels to renewables, no community is left behind or that working families bear an unfair burden?
  • What energy technologies do we need?

With thanks to the European Parliament for financial provision to
Green European Foundation which supports this event.