No new fossil fuel projects compatible with stable climate

Drill or drop.

Opponents of fossil fuel developments in southern England have described the government’s climate criteria for future oil and gas licences as “inherently flawed”.

IGas site at Misson, Nottinghamshire, 4 February 2019. Photo: Eric Walton

Ministers have proposed a climate compatibility checkpoint will decide whether new licences should be offered for exploration and production, both on and offshore. There are six tests that must be passed to avoid a pause in licensing.

Responding to a government consultation, the Weald Action Group said the checkpoint threatened UK net zero targets and global climate stability.

The group called for:

  • Immediate moratorium on onshore and offshore oil and gas projects that have been licenced but not approved.
  • Block on all future licensing rounds
  • Scrapping of the climate compatibility checkpoint

Weald Action Group said:

“We are in a climate emergency and no new fossil fuel projects are compatible with maintaining a stable climate. If we are to have any hope of keeping global average temperature rise below 1.50 c it is crucial that new oil and gas exploration is halted now. “

“The proposed oil and gas climate compatibility checkpoint is an inherently flawed premise that threatens the delivery not only of the UK’s net-zero target but, more importantly, of the global stability of the climate.”

The checklist creates doubt about the timing and speed of the UK’s move out of fossil fuels, the group said:

“This will create uncertainty for thousands of oil and gas workers who have a right to a just transition to sustainable and secure professions.”

Weald Action Group added:

“The UK bears a huge historic greenhouse gas emissions burden, is a developed country with a diversified economy much less dependent on oil and gas compared to other parts of the world, and has access to significant sources of clean renewable energy. As such, the UK must be one of the countries that goes first in ending new oil and gas exploration and production.”

The group said its arguments had been backed recently by:

Weald Action Group said the flaws in the checkpoint included:

Licensing It applies only to new oil and gas licensing rounds, ignoring the significant climate impact of already licensed but not approved projects.

Tests Some of the proposed potential tests risk “skewing the checkpoint in favour of allowing further licensing rounds”, the group said. It said carbon capture and storage, for example, must be used only as part of a transition out of fossil fuels. It should not be a means of extending oil and gas exploration and production.

Clarity There was also a “worrying lack of clarity” about how potential tests in the checklist would be weighted, the group said in its response. There was a risk, it said, that a proposed test which assesses the UK’s status as a net exporter or importer would have more influence than tests considering carbon emissions from the use of production oil or gas.

Weald Action Group also called for more political focus on managing energy demand, which it said was frequently bypassed in discussions about security of supplies.

Uber drivers to strike on September 28th and October 6th

libcom

Uber drivers to strike on September 28th and October 6th

Two separately-organised strikes of Uber drivers are coming up over the next few weeks

The App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) has called for a national Uber strike on Tuesday September 28th. The strike is expected to be observed in at least eight cities, with demonstrations planned to start at 1pm on the day in each of the following locations:

BIRMINGHAM
Aston Cross Business Park, Ground Floor, Fazeley House, 50 Rocky Ln, Birmingham B6 5RQ

BRISTOL
The Coach house, Uber, Upper York St, Bristol BS2 8QN

GLASGOW
The Pentagon Centre, BizSpace, 36 Washington St, Glasgow G3 8AZ

LEEDS
Unit 58, Flexspace, Burley Road, Leeds LS4 2PU

LONDON
Uber Greenlight Hub London, Beaufort House, 15 St Botolph St, London EC3A 7DT

MANCHESTER
Building 4, Devonshire St North, Manchester M12 6JH

NOTTINGHAM
Unit C, King Edward Court, Nottingham NG1 1EL

SHEFFIELD
Spaces Acero, 1 Concourse Way, Sheffield S1 2BJ

Explaining the issues and demands behind the strike, the ADCU write: “There are three key points of dispute which has now led this to latest strike action:

· Uber’s failure to implement the Supreme Court ruling and pay waiting time which makes up around 40% of an Uber driver’s working time.

· The introduction of fixed price fares and the abandonment of variable fares which were based on actual time and distance travelled. This has led to reduced driver incomes and greater financial risk.

· Unfair dismissals without recourse. Uber’s introduction of a flawed real time identification and surveillance system in particular has led to many drivers being wrongly dismissed without right of appeal.

The union is making three key demands of Uber to immediately remedy the situation:

· Uber to pay all working time including waiting time and respect the Supreme Court ruling.

· An end to up front pricing, an increase of fares from £1.25 per mile to £2.00 per mile and for Uber to reduce its commission take from 25% to 15%.

· An end to unfair dismissals without right of appeal. Uber must also withdraw the use of the so-called Real Time ID surveillance and facial recognition system.”

The ADCU is a new union which was formed after a recent split in the IWGB union. The United Private Hire Drivers, the IWGB branch covering drivers, does not seem to be endorsing the September 28th strike call, and are instead asking Uber drivers to strike on Wednesday October 6th. Their demands for that strike are:

• Better rate per mile
• 15% max commission
• Transparency of charges on customers
• No fixed rate trips
• 50% surcharge on out of area trips
• No more unfair deactivations
• Reinstatement of unfairly deactivated drivers

The IWGB/UPHD are also planning a public protest in London to coincide with their strike, asking supporters to:

“Bring your car & join us to strike & protest together on 6 October at 10am. Meeting point: 10am at ASDA Car Park, Stepney Green, 123 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ Then drive to protest location at: Uber HQ, Aldgate Tower, London E1 8QN for 11am.”

They have also set up a strike WhatsApp group, which can be accessed via a QR code which can be found here.