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


 

Facebook   Twitter



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

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter



Related links:

Environment:

triangleFracking: short-term profit before safety

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can we save the environment under capitalism?

triangleCambridgeshire Socialist Party: Socialism and the Environment

triangleAfter the Floods: Over 800 attend Spelthorne public meeting

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party youth: Socialism and the environment

Climate change:

triangleSystem change to save the environment

triangleClimate change: Socialism and global planning essential

triangleGenetic Modification: A contribution to the debate

triangleFloods show planning and investment needed

Socialist:

triangleSouth London Socialist Party: Ferguson erupts over police killings

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Ferguson erupts over police killings

triangleWelsh councils have a choice

Green:

triangleRCT/Caerphilly Socialist Party: Do you have to be Red to be Green?

triangleBrighton Green referendum offers no alternative to cuts

US:

triangleUSA: Ferguson erupts over police killing

Capitalist:

triangleNewport: Anti-NATO demonstration

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/8/14

Aslef

Aslef Central Line tube drivers strike

21/8/14

Milford Haven

Milford Haven campaign against mosquito sound device

20/8/14

Doncaster

Chester solidarity with Doncaster Care UK workers

20/8/14

Newport

Capitalism means war: Join the Socialists!

20/8/14

Youth

Fight for real jobs

20/8/14

Surrey

Surrey council workers look to strike on pay

20/8/14

CWU

BT pay cuts: we need less surveys, more action!

20/8/14

Firefighters

North West Fire Service call centre cuts catastrophe

20/8/14

Stafford

Protest camp brings NHS activists together

20/8/14

Southampton

Re-house Charlie Wort!

20/8/14

Hackney

Campaign steps up on New Era estate

20/8/14

Youth

Youth services: jobs and centres slashed

20/8/14

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC byelection reports

20/8/14

Leeds

Campaigning for genuine equality at Leeds Pride

19/8/14

Liverpool

Liverpool anger at library closures

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

London Gaza demo 19 July 2014, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle20 Aug Capitalism means war: Join the Socialists!

triangle20 Aug Fight for real jobs

NHS workers on strike on 30 November 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

triangle20 Aug We can't live on poverty pay!

Women munitions workers during World War One

triangle20 Aug Protests, strikes and equality: Women in World War One

triangle19 Aug The People's March for the NHS

triangle19 Aug BT CWU members vote for strike action in latest consultation

triangle19 Aug Protesters condemn mayor Anderson's continuing butchery

More ...

triangle23 Aug Eastern region Socialist Party summer camp

triangle26 Aug London Socialist Party: Ferguson erupts over police killings

triangle27 Aug Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Capital in the 21st century

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice