Dave Nellist – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition chair and Socialist Party national committee member – wrote the following letter to the Observer in reply to the Green Party Baroness Natalie Bennett’s call for capitalist reforms to halt catastrophic climate change.

Climate change protest in London on 12.4.19, photo Mary Finch

Climate change protest in London on 12.4.19, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Natalie Bennett calls for ‘system change, not climate change’ (Your Letters, 22 August) but then proposes solutions that hardly challenge the vested interests of the existing economic system and its owners.

To move climate heating industries to zero-carbon emissions requires urgent national and international planning and significant investment. There are two problems. Firstly, we can’t plan what we don’t fully control, and we don’t fully control what we don’t own. Secondly, private investment in a market-based system is constricted by the expectation of its owners making a profit.

The fundamental system change needed is public ownership and rational economic planning in a democratic socialist system. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have a major political party arguing for that.

Leaving society in the continued control of millionaire politicians being told by billionaire business owners not to threaten their profits won’t fundamentally change anything.

Save the planet – make capitalism extinct

Heather Rawling, Leicester Socialist Party

Listening to the radio the other day, I heard a grandmother’s account of why she was on the recent Extinction Rebellion protest in London.

The interviewer asked her what she thought the solution to climate change was. This question would’ve been a gift to a socialist.

We would have explained that there is no solution under capitalism, even if the capitalists genuinely want to find a solution.

Capitalism operates on the short-term drive for profits, with owners and nations in competition with each other.

Until the working class and poor of the world own and democratically control the world’s resources, we will not have a satisfactory solution.

Instead, the spokesperson for XR said that they weren’t ‘solutionary’, they were just alerting people to the problem.

I think the majority of us know that climate change is happening and it’s urgent that humanity addresses the threat.

I appeal to people concerned about the threat of climate change to fight for socialism, as the only way we can tackle the threat, democratically, on a world scale.

The Socialist Party says socialist change to stop climate change: Take over the major corporations so we can democratically plan the use of the world’s resources, for need and not profit.