New Webinar Series: Nature, Labour and the Struggle for an Eco-Social World

We are very pleased to announce that in association with the publication in late 2021 of the Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Labour Studies, edited by Nora Räthzel, Dimitris Stevis and David Uzzell, four webinars, drawing on examples from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, address the question, ‘Is there a gap between labour and nature, or are workers and their communities engaging with nature to work towards environmental justice and a just transition?’ The webinars have been organised jointly by the authors and the Center for Environmental Justice at Colorado State University, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), the Global Labour University (GLU), the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), and the University of Sao Paulo. The four webinars are:

1. Moving beyond extractive industries: Resistance and alternatives: 21 February at 16.00 CET (hosted by Global Labour University).

This webinar examines the disastrous impact of extractive industries on working-class communities, both in terms of the environmental crisis but also energy poverty.

Speakers: Mametlwe Sebei (General Industries Workers Union of South Africa); Erik Kojola (Texas Christian University); Jacklyn Cock (University of the Witwatersrand): Moderator: Edlira Xhafa (Global Labour University)


2. Challenges and perspectives of a just transition in Europe: 7 March at 15.30 CET (hosted by the European Trade Union Institute).

Hosted by the European Trade Union Institute this webinar asks what are the main challenges of a just transition to a zero-carbon economy in the EU? To what extent can current EU policies and practices be considered a step towards a more comprehensive policy framework to integrate climate/environmental and labour priorities? How far are institutions and the welfare state ready to address the new challenges posed by the eco-social paradigm shift, possibly under a low growth or de-growth scenario? What strategies do trade unions have and what main challenges do they face?

Speakers: Bela Galgoczi (ETUI); Anna Saave (University of Jena) and Barbara Muraca (University of Oregon); Adrien Thomas (LISER, Luxembourg) and Valeria Pulignano (KU Leuven); Discussant: Samantha Smith, Director of the Just Transition Centre of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); Moderator: Nora Räthzel (University of Umeå, Sweden)


3. Working-class environmentalism and just transition struggles in the Americas: 22 March at 16.00 CET (hosted by United Nations Research Institute for Social Development).

This session focuses on questions of alliance building and seeking common ground in three case studies on working-class environmentalism in Ecuador, Brazil and Canada. The session will illustrate the diverse challenges of working-class environmentalism and explore strengths and challenges of environmental labour mobilizations for a just transition.

Speakers: Beatriz Leandro (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo); Bruno Dobrusin (International Transport Workers’ Federation); Sara Latorre (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, Ecuador); Discussant: Edouard Morena (University of London Institute in Paris); Moderator: Dunja Krause (UNRISD)


4. Environment, labour and justice: Perspectives from the global South: 4 April at 18.30 CEST. (hosted by University of Sao Paulo).

This webinar draws on perspectives from the global South to examine emerging ideas in the field of environmental labour studies. Researchers will share insights from South Asia, Latin America, and Africa dealing with subjects of labour resistance against fossil fuel reforms, labour-environmental conflicts, and trade union politics regarding just transition policies.

Speakers: Silpa Satheesh (Azim Premji University, India); Camilla Houeland (University of Oslo/ Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Norway); Diego Azzi (Federal University of ABC, Brazil); Moderator: Scott Martin (Columbia University, United States).


More details about these Webinars can be obtained from:

A discount code for the Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Labour Studies will be made available to participants during the webinar sessions.