Photos: Mary Finch and Paul Mattsson
Photos: Mary Finch and Paul Mattsson

Mark Best, West London Socialist Party

Like a drowning man clutching at a straw, Rishi Sunak has rowed back from commitments made by Boris Johnson to, among other things, phase out petrol cars by 2030, force landlords to take action on their buildings’ energy efficiency, and to move away from new gas boilers.

He’s claimed that this will save people from paying the price of a new cost-of-living crisis caused by these measures. That’s the same prime minister who appears on the Sunday Times Rich List, and as PM and previously chancellor has presided over the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation!

If he thinks that he can present himself as a cost-of-living crusader, he’s living in cloud cuckoo land.

Studies have found that, overall, people support measures to reduce fossil-fuel emissions. But that number falls if, by implementing them, prices for goods and services rise. But why should they? It is not the fault of workers and young people that the climate has been damaged. Floods, forest fires and deadly storms can’t be laid at the feet of someone buying fruit from abroad because they can’t afford an alternative, or they have to drive to work because public transport is too expensive or non-existent.

It is the big companies and bosses that are to blame. Who every year make massive profits off the labour of working people, and are quite happy to destroy the environment while they’re at it. To truly deal with environmental catastrophe, we need to take the big companies and banks that dominate the economy, including the energy companies and the polluting fossil fuel industry, into public ownership, under the democratic control of the working class.

On this basis we could draw up a plan based on what we need, not what makes a profit for a few at the top. A democratic plan which would include what’s needed to keep the planet a place we can live on.

The only way this is achievable is by fighting to clear away the capitalists at the top of society and the politicians that represent them. To replace the current undemocratic system where wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few with a truly democratic socialist society based on the cooperation of workers across the world. This isn’t on offer from the Tories, or from Starmer’s Labour. Join the Socialist Party to fight for the change necessary to save the planet and give us all a decent standard of living.