November 2013

This month saw Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm to hit landfall in recorded history, surge through the Philippines, causing death and destruction on a momentous scale. Scientists argued about the causal relationship of the storm with climactic warming, but scientists agree that even if storms don’t become more frequent, they are likely to become stronger, faster and wetter.

The typhoon coinciding with COP19 international climate talks in Warsaw meant that the issue of loss and damage’ from climate change – the degree of responsibility and commitment from richer, higher emitting countries to poorer and more ecologically vulnerable countries – became a major source of contention. Hunger strikes, walk outs and fractious stand-offs until the eleventh hour produced an agreement that delayed binding commitments – and action – on aid and emissions cuts until 2015.

Mixed messages seemed be the order of the day. Polish authorities were criticised for hosting the World Coal Congress blocks away from the climate talks, and UN climate chief Christiana Figueres spoke of the industry’s opportunity to be part of the worldwide climate solution’ by turning off old plants and capturing and storing of carbon from new plants. Critics declared it was like characterising sex trafficking as marriage guidance.’

Are mixed messages letting the cat out of the oven?

Closer to home, there were more mixed messages about commitments to renewable energy. The �?greenest government ever’ defeated an amendment to the Energy Bill that would have set decarbonisation targets for the energy sector starting next year as well as proposing a u-turn on the Planning and Energy Act and the EU 2030 Renewables target. The Renewable Energy Association warned that government mixed messages could affect investment and planning in this growing sector.

Despite this, the REA report showed continually growing employment in the renewables sector over the last six months and showed nearly half of all renewable energy companies expected to increase their employment in the year ahead. Great stuff!

More uncertainty was generated by the anger about fuel bills and the continuedcontroversy about green taxes. The government announced a plan to review the energy company obligation (ECO) to energy efficiency, the scheme which has driven 98% of all energy saving installations in UK homes since January. While the government promised there was no backing down on energy efficiency’, green builders warned that a third of the industry’s 33,000 jobs could be at stake if the provision was watered down.

We liked Sustainable Homes’ open letter to the PM reminding that ECO is a mechanism forreducing emissions, tackling fuel poverty and creating jobs, all at the same time! Develop and extend it by all means, Ed Davey, but don’t cut it!!!

Hot off the press

Two large projects that re-use waste were given the go-ahead this month.
London’s first biogas from food waste plant in Dagenham was given the green light this month, an initiative hoped to create 60 jobs and provide gas for around 10,000 homes. What counts as food waste is a question for another day!

Islington council, UK Power Networks and Transport for London agreed a demonstration project this month for heating homes from heat from the tube.
The scheme is exploring how low-grade heat from the tube around Angel and a nearby electricity substation can be upgraded using a heat pump to make it useful for the local community. It will expand an existing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant that services 860 homes to supply another at least another 500 homes. The project’s pipes are to be future-proofed’, making it easy for the system to be extended into Camden or Hackney in time.

Learning from Green-Focused Employability Programmes


Otesha’s third Branch Out employability programme has just finished. Feedback in so far includes

It is good for people who want to try a taster to see how working in the green industry really is.

Job hunting/career-building can be a daunting, lonely and depressing task. The communal learning and supportive ethos of the course was immensely comforting and encouraging.

Being part of a diverse group with common interests was great.

All respondents said they feel more confident communicating with different types of people’, setting and achieving realistic goals for myself’ and working as a team’, all said they left with better skills for writing and adapting CVs and cover letters, and most said they were more confident talking about their experiences and motivation and matching their skills to job descriptions.

Areas to work on seem to be creating more opportunities to visit and try out different kinds of work, and helping more confident job seekers access higher level qualifications in the accredited courses.

We’re working out how to combine inclusive and individually tailored employability support with building a supportive group and running a cost-effective programme for as many young people as possible. Get in touch to share your experiences of running training or employability programmes here.

Otesha’s hiring!

Looking for your dream green job? Otesha is hiring a Green Jobs Co-director to join our team.

We are looking for a multi-talented, multi-tasking superstar! This is an amazing opportunity within a non-hierarchical team of four staff members. You will be one of two Green Jobs Co-directors, working to train up young people and get them into green and decent jobs, develop the Green Jobs Programme and Otesha. Click here for all the info. Please share this far and wide!

Green Jobs: What needs saying? What needs exploring?

We’ve got some funding to make a short film for Alliance members and others, and we want your input!

The plan is to make a film for ELGJA members, training providers, employers and those thinking about bringing a sustainability focus into their work. We want to show the diverse kinds of ethical, sustainable and viable work that count as green jobs. We want to ask: What kinds of work and pathways in exist already? Where are there areas for development?

Have you got ideas you’d like to feed in to the film?
Examples of good practice?
Lessons learned from job hunting, training or recruiting?
Favourite employers or organisations you think we should showcase?
Questions you think need some airtime?

Get in touch!

Case Study – Repowering London

This month we’ve been getting excited aboutRepowering London. This Brixton-based social enterprise is all about creating win-win situations – facilitating the local ownership of renewable energy projects while creating training and investment opportunities for local people.

If you’re interested in getting an internship or work experience on the technical, legal, IT, marketing or financial side of their work, get in touch!


A Permaculture Design Course is a varied, challenging, often life-changing journey through the principles and applications of thinking like a system. It’s about much more than gardening! Spring into Action has announced two free places on the for their Full Permaculture Design Coursestarting March 2013. More details here.

Could you be 10:10’s web demigod? If you’ve got the skills and drive to create sites and apps that get people taking practical steps to tackle climate change check it out!

Love food-growing and engaging others in it? Like working with schools and children? Sustain has a great role going for a School and Community Engagement Officer

The fantastic Community Food Grower’s Network is recruiting a part-time network coordinator

The fabulous Forest Recycling Project in Walthamstow is looking for a Volunteer Development Coordinator – could you be the one?

LCRN is offering opportunities for employers to green their workforce with waste awareness and training.

Connect up with other food growers for advice, support and a good knees up! Capital Growth’sfood-growers networking event is Thursday 28th November in Ladbroke Grove.

This Friday 29th join Jean Lambert, Green MEP, and colleagues for a free day conference on Building Our Green Economic Future at Congress House. More details here!

That’s all for another month!

Let us know your thoughts and experiences, learning and opportunities for the next newsletter and keep in touch with us at @greenjobsaction on twitter!

Be warm and well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.