Tackling Climate Change

In its recently published report the United Nations panel on climate change has confirmed what climate change activists and People Before Profit have been saying for years; namely that global greenhouse gas emissions have risen to unprecedented levels and that a massive shift from fossil fuels to renewables (solar/ tidal/ wind power) is needed to limit global warming.

The report say that man-made greenhouse gas emissions grew more quickly in the
past decade than in each of the previous three decades and that this will lead to more floods, droughts, fires and rising sea-levels. And it warns that only big institutional and technological changes would give a “better than even chance” of societies escaping the effects of dangerous interference with the Earth’s climate system.

Again exactly what we, together with many other socialists, trade unionists and environmental activists, have been saving for a long time. But what the report doesn’t say, and which it wouldn’t have dared to say, is perhaps the most important thing of all.

This is that what drives rising fossil fuel emissions and climate change is the competitive capitalist system which, by its very nature, puts profit before people.

The report talks of big institutional changes but the most important change by far is to move away from a global economy dominated by Exxon Mobile, BP, Shell, Toyota, Texaco and other giant oil, gas and car companies and by competition for never ending economic growth by the USA, China, Russia and the EU.

Only then will there be a democratically planned global shift to renewable energy. But bringing about that change needs people power on a huge scale.

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