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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2021

Capitalism is destroying the planet

Socialist change to end climate change

Newcastle: Climate change protesters, 24.5.19, photo E Brunskill

Newcastle: Climate change protesters, 24.5.19, photo E Brunskill   (Click to enlarge)

James Leach, York Socialist Party

It's been three years since the UN suggested 2030 as the cut-off date to prevent climate catastrophe. Since then - who can say we are on the path away from ecological disaster?

Understanding is growing that to stop climate change, radical transformation of society is needed.

A recent report by the International Energy Agency suggests $4 trillion-a-year investment is needed to generate secure clean energy. What capitalist government, and what profit-seeking corporation, will ever make this level of investment? If we wait for the ruling classes to make serious change, we will be waiting for climate catastrophe.

It's fair to say most people feel some responsibility to help prevent climate change. Most people also recognise that a commitment to recycling and buying plastic-free products is not enough. People are beginning to realise that a mass movement from the bottom up is necessary to achieve genuine change.

Tens of thousands will be protesting at COP26 in Glasgow and elsewhere on 6 November. The trade unions represent 6.5 million workers in the UK with the potential power to bring society to a standstill. A glimpse of this strength can be seen in the workers' strikes taking place in Scotland during the COP26 conference.

Concerned for their future, hundreds of thousands of school students have poured onto the streets in the last couple of years to demand climate action, winning huge public support. We need unity of youth movements with workers to demand what is needed to end climate change.

15% of Britain's carbon emissions come from housing. The movement against climate change must demand public spending to upgrade old, inefficient gas heating systems and insulation, with the work carried out by well-paid, qualified workers with trade union recognition.

Rather than punitive road taxes that make workers' commutes unaffordable, and cuts to bus and train services, the climate movement must demand free and accessible public transport.

The movement must demand that the wealthiest in society be made to pay, not the poorest. By nationalising the energy companies, and placing them under democratic public control, investment could be geared towards a quick transition to renewable energy. As part of a socialist plan based on democratic public ownership of the banks and big companies, investment into kick-starting well-paid and secure green jobs could provide a decent future for young people and the planet.

The situation is simple - those who currently run society are running the planet into the ground. As German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg once said - it is "socialism or barbarism". It is 'socialism or climate catastrophe.'

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In The Socialist 3 November 2021:


COP26

Socialist change to end climate change

Fight for socialism to end climate destruction

COP26 begins - workers strike for pay

COP26 News in brief


Campaigns news

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fund the fight for a socialist world

Sheffield students tirelessly campaigning for socialist change

Hackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

East London gentrification plans exposed


News

Fight for a real wage rise for all

Local government cuts set to continue - we need councillors prepared to fight

Race to top for bankers

Fight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

Water companies put profits before protecting our environment

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

Tory plans won't fix social care

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise


Workplace news

NEU: Strategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Scunthorpe scaffs strike into fifth week

Unite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Plant engineers pay dispute


Fighting sexism

Sexism, safety and the profit system


International news

Sudan - mass protests and general strike against coup

Chile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Hunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

Protests against Sudan coup reach Britain


 

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Related links:

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triangleSunak's climate finance agenda typifies capitalism's COP26 failure

triangleYouth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

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Energy:

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