By scrapping Trident Britain could become a leading expert in tidal and wave energy, Professor John Foster told the CND fringe meeting at this years TUC.
The UK is currently a key site for research in this area but lacks the funding to put the sustainable plans into practice. Scrapping Trident would enable workers skilled in marine technology to use their skills to manufacture and support green energy, reinvigorating industry in the UK.
Professor Foster, along with UNISON's Heather Wakefield and CWU's Tony Kearns were speaking at the launch of CND's report on the impact of scrapping Trident on jobs and the UK economy. The panel argued that the Government is in a unique position to fulfil international commitments on climate change and nuclear non-proliferation in addition to releasing public funds that could be better spent on providing vital social housing, hospital staff and social workers.
Renewing this weapon of mass destruction would cost in excess of £100 billion, Wakefield told union representatives. Scrapping Trident on the other hand will free up public funds to retrain workers and invest in renewable energy to protect our future.
The Government decision to make the MOD pay for Trident will destroy communities that rely on shipbuilding and manufacturing in favour of an outdated and dangerous US-led foreign policy, Kearns argued. The CND report presents the Government with a progressive, sustainable and safe alternative.
Worries about job losses were raised at the meeting by a former Faslane worker and member of Prospect Union. The ensuing discussion showed the importance of dialogue between workers and campaigners against nuclear weapons. Only through dialogue can common ground and shared goals of safe, sustainable jobs for all be expressed.
General Secretary of CND, Kate Hudson, urged union representatives to affiliate to the campaign and communicate to their members that scrapping Trident would lead to more jobs and a sustainable economic future.
This report on Trident and Jobs comes at the same time as the TUC voted to back the PCS and CWU led campaign for 1 million green jobs. Unions and the peace movement have shown that there is undeniably a viable alternative to cuts and war.