My PhD proposal developed from work over three years to engage trade unions around climate change
I started my PhD in 2017 as a mature student. I have previously worked in the UK rail industry and then in adult education, and for Sheffield Climate Alliance and Heeley City Farm.
My first degree, at the University of Warwick, was in Mathematics but was flexible enough to enable me to also study Sociology alongside. I later studied part-time for a PGCE in Post-Compulsory Education at the University of Huddersfield.
Then, at the University of Strathclyde I undertook an interdisciplinary Masters in Human Ecology. Themes of organisational learning, action research and climate justice threaded through these degrees.
With Sheffield Climate Alliance I worked as Campaigns Worker for three years, focusing especially on the employment, health and social co-benefits of climate action. This led me to involvement with the Yorkshire and Humber Low Carbon Task Force set up by the regional TUC.
Using an Action Research approach to explore the responses of UK trade unions to climate change, in the energy-intensive industries of Yorkshire and the Humber.
My PhD proposal developed from work over three years to engage trade unions around climate change.
Making connections through the fringe programme around COP21 in Paris led to conversations with trade unions in energy-intensive industries, such as steel, glass and cement, that underpin the cities of Leeds, Hull and Sheffield.
As a PhD student within the Realising Just Cities programme funded by Mistra Urban Futures I am focused on developing knowledge that can help trade unions play their full role towards an energy transition that brings both sustainability and justice, at a time when action on climate at a city level has never been so important.
Supervisors: Professor Beth Perry and Dr Stephen Connolly
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