GMB call for heat action plan to minimise global warming effects on low paid people
GMB Congress call for local authorities to implement heat action plan to mitigate and minimise the effects climate change and global warming has on low income people
When conditions worsen people in poverty and in low incomes, who are having to go to foodbanks to survive, suffer most, says GMB London
GMB Congress has called on local authorities to adopt and put into action a ‘Heat Action Plan’ as part of a campaign calling for practical steps to be taken to mitigate and minimise the adverse effects of climate change and global warming on low income people and GMB members.
GMB have suggested local authorities consider the model used in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal heat response plan was developed and implemented on to reduce heat-related health effects in the general population following a heatwave in 2010 that killed 106 people in a five-day period.
After a heatwave last year, the Montreal distributed 17,000 litres of water to organizations which work with the city's homeless, they extended opening hours at pools and water pads. Firemen and police officers visited around 5,000 homes to check in on citizens and if the heat was seriously impacting them, sent them to hospital.
The 102nd GMB Congress, comprises of 500 elected lay members and 300 visitors and guests. GMB Congress delegates were elected from the GMB membership to represent over 640,000 members from every part of the UK and Ireland and every sector of the economy. Congress is the supreme policy making body in GMB.
Sue Hackett, GMB Equality Officer said:
“Climate change and global warming are a reality now. Heat has become a huge issue and as with everything, the poor and most vulnerable in our society face the worst of it. Nearly 700 more deaths than the average were recorded last June and July. Elderly people living alone and people with medical and mental health conditions, are in real danger of suffering cruel and devastating situations.
“With so many unfair cuts to adult care, the fifteen minutes allocated to carers visiting elderly people are woefully inadequate, they are left to fend for themselves for 23.45 hours.
“When conditions worsen people in poverty and in low incomes, who are having to go to foodbanks to survive, suffer most. They do not have the means to get fans let alone air conditioning, traveling to and from 3 or 4 jobs just to make up a day’s work, travelling on hot buses and trains if they’re lucky enough to afford the fares or walking long distances to jobs in often hot and uncomfortable uniforms, come home exhausted. Who knew in 2019 people would be subjected to such cruelty.
“GMB London Region Equality Activists are calling on this government to take practical steps to mitigate and minimise these adverse effects on our most vulnerable citizens, we call on Local Authorities to adopt a ‘Heat Action Plan’ like Montreal and take the urgent action needed to stop so many unnecessary deaths.”
Contact: Sue Hackett 07813 542070 or GMB London Press Office 07970 114762
Notes to Editors
GMB Congress Motion
321. HEAT - THE NEXT INEQUALITY ISSUE
This Congress notes that Climate change and global warming are a reality now. It affects everyone as extremes of weather occur more often. When conditions worsen, it affects those in poverty and low incomes most, our members, and it can prove fatal.
We call upon Congress to campaign for practical steps to be taken now to mitigate and minimise these adverse effects on low income people and our members by for example actively campaign in workplaces like local Authorities to adopt and put into action a ‘Heat Action Plan’ as implemented in Montreal.
EALING GMB BRANCH London Region