Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1038/29006
Labour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"
Jane Ward, Southampton Socialist Party
October's UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report said there is only 12 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C to avoid devastating effects.
Another study in Lancet Planetary Health links four million new worldwide cases of childhood asthma each year directly to traffic-related air pollution. And analysis published in Biological Conservation said that insects could be extinct within a century.
The Labour Party has declared a "national environment and climate emergency." They propose to "decarbonise" the economy, with regional consultations between trade unions, bosses, public sector bodies, universities and others to plan it. They've promised high-quality green jobs for people working in high-carbon-emission industries.
Labour calls for some public ownership. They want to nationalise the railways, but have also said that the private operators would be well compensated.
Labour has pledged to nationalise energy transmission and distribution networks. But, regarding the energy suppliers, Labour is only committed to the creation of regional cooperatives that would struggle to compete with the existing massive private-energy suppliers.
They need to go much further to halt climate change.
Since 1988, just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. Large corporations' incessant quest for ever-increasing profit means they pay scant regard to the damage they are doing to the environment.
A socialist government would take the largest companies and the banks into public ownership. For a sustainable future, this must include transport and energy-generating industries.
This must be under democratic workers' control and management. The environmental crisis was created by capitalists, but it will be the working classes who will affect the change needed to resolve it.
A socialist plan for the environment should be put in place. This will enable the rapid introduction of renewable sources of energy, the massive expansion of public transport and drastically cut carbon emissions.
Undoubtedly, the way forward is socialist change not climate change.
In The Socialist 17 April 2019:
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