Monday, December 03, 2007


Big business hit the headlines last week with a CBI report on the threat of climate change. Another example of 'Greenwash'? An attempt by big business to appear concerned about the environment whilst simultaneously damaging it with their profit-driven activities? Certainly.

There's another agenda too. The CBI claims that "New taxes and regulations are needed to reward climate-friendly firms". In other words, they want us to pay them to slow down their killing of our planet. The bloody cheek of it.

CBI director Richard Lambert said that, "Carbon needs to be part of the DNA for businesses just like health and safety has become over the years." Given the statistics on workplace deaths, and the day-to-day experiences of workers endangered by their bosses, this suggests that the environment should be very very worried.

But it might yet be a useful comparison. If employers want to give environmental protection an equivalent status to health and safety, then they should recognise elected trade union environment reps - in fact, the government should make them do so, and give the reps strong legal rights. And just as workers have the right to refuse to work on the grounds of health and safety concerns, we should have the legal right to refuse to do work that we think is damaging the environment.

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