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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2020

Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

London climate strike 20 September 2019, photo Paul Mattsson

London climate strike 20 September 2019, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Simon Carter

Antarctica has just experienced its hottest temperature on record and, globally, January 2020 was the warmest January ever recorded.

The consequences of continual and rapid global heating - rising sea levels, increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events - will be catastrophic for the environment, including human populations.

Tackling the cause of global heating, that is, increased greenhouse gas emissions from capitalist industry, transport and agribusiness, is therefore vital.

So, what's the Tory government doing about it?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hosting the latest climate change summit in Glasgow this November. The COP26 event is meant to break the deadlocked Madrid summit of last December. Deadlocked because the likes of Trump, Putin, Brazil's Bolsonaro, and the Saudi Arabia regime, support the increased development of the big energy companies.

Johnson has recently grabbed the headlines with his accelerated net-zero carbon emissions pledge for the UK.

However, he blotted his copybook by sacking the COP26 president, former Tory MP Claire O'Neill. She accused the Tory government of being "miles off track globally where we are meant to be", and condemned Johnson over what's needed on climate change, saying: "He doesn't get it"!

Indeed, Johnson revealed the utter hypocrisy of his 'green' credentials when at the recent UK-Africa summit he sealed 2 billion of energy deals favouring oil and gas companies, with only 161 million (8% of total) related to clean energy.

Meanwhile, it's been revealed that the government agency UK Export Finance is supporting gas and oil projects abroad that will emit 69 million tonnes of carbon a year - one-sixth of the total UK emissions!

Back in the UK, there's no national plan to properly insulate homes to reduce energy consumption. And the government has stymied the further expansion of renewable energy projects such as offshore wind turbine farms.

O'Neill said: "My advice to anybody to whom Boris is making promises - whether it is voters, world leaders, ministers, employees... is to get it in writing, get a lawyer to look at it and make sure the money is in the bank." Sound advice.

But the only real guarantee of halting catastrophic climate change is to fight for socialist policies - including nationalisation of the major industries under democratic workers' control - to create a millions of new green jobs and achieve net-zero carbon emissions in years, not decades.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 12 February 2020:


News

Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

Windrush deportations: end the hostile environment

Streatham attack: Johnson's bill can't stop terror

Them & Us

What We Heard


NHS

NHS: Fight for full funding!

Unnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

NHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Callous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire


Trade unions

Trade unions - new decade, new challenges


Workplace news

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

Westex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

University strikers walk out for better pay and pensions

East London school strikes against academisation continue

Foreign Office workers' strike

Solidarity with Turkish workers

Lambeth Unison letter

London NSSN meeting

Solidarity with victimised bus rep Moe

Support Clive Walder


Cuts

How to resist tory attacks on local communities

Cuts councillors are the real problem

Council houses - not private property developers


International

Sinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

Lebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division


Campaigns

Build independent workers' media with May Day greetings

Building a working-class movement for Tamil rights

Hackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

20 years of housing failure

Socialist Sellers


Universal Credit

New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Nottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

UC stopped without warning


 

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Related links:

Climate change:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: How can climate change be stopped?

triangleBezos gives $10bn for climate - nationalise the rest!

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Cuts and climate change cause floods

triangleCuts and climate change cause floods

triangle'Roses are red, violets are blue, BP and Shell - we're coming for you'

Energy:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Renewable Energy - a just transition

triangleThem & Us

triangleShell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

triangleClimate change election debate

Government:

triangleAll in this together? The 'Blitz spirit' myth

triangleNew laws: Unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests

triangleLabour must resist 'Covid coalition'

Carbon:

triangleSocialist policies needed to halt climate disaster

triangleLabour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"

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