Socialist Party
| Print

4 December 2019

Climate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further

Corinthia Ward, North Birmingham Socialist Party

Friday 29 November saw the broadcast of the first ever election debate over climate change - no doubt arranged in response to the global mobilisation of young people protesting for immediate action to be taken to save the planet.

Unsurprisingly, Boris Johnson did not feel it was relevant or important enough to attend. The Brexit party was a no-show as well. In their absence two blocks of ice were slowly melting - a blunt reminder of what is happening to the polar ice caps.

On transport, the policy flaunted by the Greens was to charge a tax on those who make multiple long-haul flights and to limit access to cheap budget airline flights in order to encourage people to use trains.

All the parties, except Labour, promised the status quo of chucking more tax payers' money at private companies - something which has worked so well over the last 30 years!

Corbyn

Only Corbyn raised the nationalisation of rail, to not only improve the service but to make it more affordable for ordinary people, rather than penalising them for having to use a cheap airline flight as the alternative.

When it came to energy and housing, Corbyn put forward the policies of having state-owned energy companies, nationalising the National Grid, for a new 'green' council housing programme, as well as interest-free loans for lower earners to fit their homes with green technology and alterations.

The alternative by the other party leaders was to incentivise ordinary people through individual change into slapping some solar panels on their roofs, and calling for energy to no longer rely on fossil fuels, without actually presenting a plan on how we do this!

How are we meant to produce all the renewable energy needed if we don't have control of the industries and infrastructure which provide it to homes, or even produce the housing, in the first place?

As Corbyn pointed out, once we have control of these industries we can transfer to renewable energy while at the same time creating new jobs, and provide decent 'green' housing.

Greens

While claiming to be be the voice of the Earth, part of the Greens' answer to tackling climate change was to make ordinary people take on more financial burden - such as a tax on meat and dairy to force people to eat more vegetables.

Corbyn pointed out the link to food poverty and how it would be better to ensure people could actually afford decent food by better wages, etc. Sadly, all the parties missed the opportunity to link the food industry to nationalisation and public ownership.

As long as the farming industry and giant supermarket chains are under the control of a few wealthy individuals, they will continue to put profit before people and the environment. It is only if these industries are taken under democratic workers' control and management that green policies can be enforced while ensuring people actually have access to healthy diets.

It is a positive step forward that Corbyn's manifesto promises to bring key aspects of the big carbon producers into public ownership, but he shouldn't stop there. The top 100 companies alone produce 70% of the world's carbon emissions.

Only by taking all the major industries which contribute to climate change - energy, transport, construction, farming, fashion, etc - under planned, democratic workers' ownership can we ensure the future of our planet.

It will be workers themselves who can transform society to no longer leave a carbon footprint. But this can only be done under socialism, where production is no longer profit-driven, but instead organised to meet the needs of people and the planet.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29984




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

triangle26 Feb All out to win strike reballot

triangle26 Feb Packed meeting of workplace militants, strikers, socialists and trade...

triangle26 Feb University workers' strike over pay, pensions and workload escalates

triangle26 Feb This is the BBC: fight the cuts - and the capitalist media

triangle26 Feb Austerity kills

triangle26 Feb Immigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a...

The cover of Socialism Today issue 236

triangle21 Feb Preparing for the post-Corbyn era

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle27 Feb East London Socialist Party: Is the time right for a new Scottish workers' party?

triangle27 Feb Bristol South Socialist Party: What is the role of social media?

triangle27 Feb Caerphilly Socialist Party: Cuts and climate change cause floods

triangle27 Feb Cardiff East Socialist Party: The monarchy - not just a harmless relic

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999