Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/558/6646

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 November 2008

Needed: a socialist 'deal' for the environment

BARACK OBAMA put the environment at the centre of his US presidential election programme by pledging to bring in a 'Green New Deal' that could tackle the threat of climate change while generating many new jobs to combat the growing economic recession.

Pete Dickenson

His proposal to spend $150 billion over ten years to develop new green technologies echoes the New Deal introduced by Roosevelt, the US President in the 1930s, who pumped money into the economy to try to counteract the effects of the economic depression.

An urgent programme to tackle climate change is clearly desperately needed, since the latest scientific evidence points to a rapidly deteriorating situation. The rate of melting of the polar icecaps is exceeding already dire predictions. Climate scientists now say that it is 'one minute to midnight' before decisive action needs to be taken if global warming's worst effects are to be avoided.

A huge programme of public spending on the environment could introduce green technology rapidly and create millions of jobs in the process worldwide, because the technology will be relatively labour-intensive.

Roosevelt's New Deal had a minimal effect on ending the 1930s depression. Obama's green new deal will probably have even less impact on climate change. The vast majority of people would prefer money to be spent on fixing the planet rather than on bailing out speculators and bankers, but Obama's deal relies on continuing with a Kyoto-style 'cap and trade' treaty, which since it was introduced eleven years ago has been a fiasco.

It has totally failed to tackle climate change. In fact, since Kyoto came in, the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming have sharply accelerated upwards because the treaty had huge loopholes built into it, that firms exploited to avoid paying any penalty if they exceeded their pollution target.

Also, just as importantly, the world's biggest emitter historically, the USA, that accounts for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gases, refused to take part in the system because US firms stood to lose by far the most.

Will Barack Obama's election make a difference? He pledged that the USA will join a revamped Kyoto-style permit trading system and further, that it really will 'make the polluter pay' this time.

The indications, however, are not good. Climate sceptics in the US Congress already cite the economic crisis as a reason to dump action on the environment, claiming it would 'push the economy over a cliff'. Even a Senator who sponsored a new bill to include the US in a Kyoto-type scheme says that action will now have to be put off.

This opposition by the big corporations and their government mouthpieces reflects the brutal reality of the capitalist system, particularly in a time of economic crisis. For them, profits are what matters, and the multinational companies that will lose profits if action is taken to tackle climate change, who form by far the majority, will fight ruthlessly to undermine any proposed 'new deal' on global warming that has teeth.

Firms battle to survive on a world scale, and national governments represent the interests of the monopolies inside their borders. So any 'new deal' that remains inside the capitalist system will be a cosmetic deal. Openly or not, it will allow the culprits, the multi-nationals, to exploit loopholes to keep polluting, since meaningful agreement between competing capitalist nations is impossible.

What is needed is an alternative to capitalism, a Socialist Green Deal, that will take control out of the hands of capitalist institutions and the firms they represent and for the first time will permit the genuine international co-operation needed to tackle global warming.

Such a Deal must include the nationalisation, under democratic control by workers and the community, of the energy generating companies, a huge investment programme to develop public transport and research into improved green technologies.


Campaign Against Climate Change march.

Saturday 6 December.

Assemble 12 noon
Grosvenor Square, London

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 25 November 2008:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Darling's prescription... It's spend, spend, spend on the banks... but cuts, cuts, cuts for the NHS

Top-up payments for private health care another step towards two-tier National Health


Environment and socialism

Socialist 'deal' for environment needed

Campaign Against Climate Change march


Socialist Party editorial

Alistair Darling's pre Budget Report: Pain now, pay later


Unison witchhunt

Activists discuss how to reclaim Unison

Meeting pledges to fight witch-hunt

Unison leadership takeover Newham branch


Socialist Party workplace news

Manchester: No redundancies at IMI!

Strike saves jobs at Fiddlers Ferry

Organise to save jobs


Anti-racism

BNP membership list: A weak divided party exposed

New Labour hypocrisy on racism

Youth Against Racism gig


Socialist Party campaigns

Campaigning to save post offices

Rover's ex-workers wage cut scandal


Socialist Party feature

China's food contamination crisis deepens


Socialist Party women

Defend abortion rights


Comment

Art and revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Somalia piracy - a consequence of western powers' intervention

France: Education strikes on the agenda


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Related links:

Environment:

triangleClimate chaos

triangleBoris hid killer air report

triangleCanada: fire devastates Fort McMurray

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Socialism and the Environment

triangleSt Austell Socialist Party: The environment

Climate change:

triangleTreasury boss attacks call to nationalise Tata

triangleWorcestershire Socialist Party: Climate change - a socialist solution is needed

triangle'Heathrow 13' climate activists avoid jail time

triangleAir pollution destroys more lives and homes

Socialist:

triangleButterfields campaign: 'We're not for sale'!

triangleThe Ritzy strikes back

triangleSetting out our stall... reports of campus campaigning

Green:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Trotskyism in the news! Why was Militant expelled from the Labour Party?

triangleKhan air

US:

triangleSocialist Students launched in USA

Capitalist:

triangleThe Corbynomics challenge

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

28/9/16

Scotland

The guard stays on the train after the RMT defeats ScotRail bosses

28/9/16

Black history

Black history month and its relevance today

28/9/16

Waltham Forest

Butterfields campaign: 'We're not for sale'!

28/9/16

Labour Party

Labour Party conference: campaigning to reinstate socialist ideas

28/9/16

Far-right

Newcastle: Socialist Party defies ban to counter the far-right

28/9/16

NHS

NHS heart centre campaign intensifies

28/9/16

Unison

Unison Broad Left meeting

28/9/16

Napo

Napo conference 2016: Bloodied but unbowed!

28/9/16

Doctors

Junior doctors' strikes off - coordinated action needed

28/9/16

Brixton

The Ritzy strikes back

28/9/16

Greater Manchester

Victory for firefighters facing dismissal in Manchester

28/9/16

University

Setting out our stall... reports of campus campaigning

28/9/16

Housing

Washdyke v Shoreline: the housing battle in Immingham

28/9/16

Socialism

Socialism 2016: Get face to face with the socialists!

28/9/16

Fighting Fund

Pedal power pounds

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Jeremy Corbyn

triangle28 Sep Consolidate the Corbyn victory

triangle28 Sep The guard stays on the train after the RMT defeats ScotRail bosses

triangle28 Sep Black history month and its relevance today

triangle28 Sep #CorbynWins: New tasks for TUSC

triangle28 Sep Butterfields campaign: 'We're not for sale'!

triangle27 Sep Leon Trotsky's living legacy

triangle24 Sep Corbyn victory another step to transforming Labour

More ...

triangle29 Sep Worcestershire Socialist Party: If Labour splits, can Corbyn win a general election?

triangle29 Sep Bradford Socialist Party: After the Labour leadership election - what next?

triangle29 Sep London Socialist Party & Socialist Students: After the Labour leadership election - build a party for the 99%

triangle2 Oct Birmingham: Tories Out national demo

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice