Wildfire. Photo: Public Domain
Wildfire. Photo: Public Domain

David, Northampton Socialist Party

Many on the right have complained that models for climate change are inaccurate and it turns out they might be right! This September was hotter than any of the models predicted, 0.5°C hotter than the previous record. 2023 is now on track to be the hottest year on record.

In the same month, Sunak announced the watering down of the UK’s already inadequate climate pledges, pushing back the date at which no more new petrol or diesel cars can be bought, and scrapping the requirement for landlords to make homes more energy-efficient. These policy changes and more have made achieving the 2050 net-zero target go from unlikely to near impossible.

Yet, according to climate scientists, the 2050 target was already insufficient to prevent climate catastrophe. Meanwhile, the Labour Party is also beginning to waver on its climate pledges. Even the Green Party’s programme falls short of what is required.

In fact, it’s impossible for any pro-capitalist party to solve climate change on the basis of capitalism. Competition between capitalists, and between capitalist states is an inherent part of the profit-based system. The level of investment and collaboration needed is ruled out.

We need a complete change in our economic system to prevent the unfolding climate crisis. Only under socialism can we shift the goal to people over profit. Just think about what is possible. A massive expansion of high-quality public transport made convenient, reliable, and freely available for all. The rapid construction of new properly insulated, energy-efficient social housing. Huge investment into renewable energy production including solar, wind, and hydro.

Imagine all of this under the democratic control of ordinary people and the workers running these industries and paid for with the money hoarded away by the super-rich.

Many argue that this is unachievable since it will scare away investment. That the rich will run away, clutching their bags of money. They may well try. That’s why it’s essential that we nationalise the commanding heights of the economy including the banks, the energy industry, and manufacturing, with compensation only based on proven need – not to the fat cats. Only then can we put these industries to use serving the people rather than making the rich richer.