Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1130/32391

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2021

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

London climate strike 20 September 2019, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

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

Sam Morden and Dave Carr

Boris Johnson grabbed the headlines with his announcement of a legally binding commitment to a 78% reduction in carbon dioxide gas emissions on 1990 levels by 2035 - some 15 years earlier than previously planned.

However, Johnson's 'green' rhetoric largely consists of recycled headlines. He is trying to pose as a world trendsetter on averting damaging climate change ahead of the delayed COP26 climate summit in Glasgow later this year.

Indeed, Johnson sidesteps where the necessary investment to achieve this significant cut in greenhouse gas emissions is going to come from.

According to the government's own Climate Change Committee, 50 billion extra investment per year is needed over the next 35 years to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 - a sizeable sum. But the cost of not doing so will be even greater to the economy. Moreover, it is roughly equivalent to the 900 billion in quantitative easing that UK governments have shelled out over the last decade to keep the capitalist economy afloat.

But the amount the government has pledged is paltry - maybe 3 billion extra in terms of new money. At the same time, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has committed to spend an extra 27 billion on expanding the road network, ie more vehicles pumping out more CO2 and toxic pollutants into the air.

Johnson is largely relying on the private sector to invest in green energy and technology. But it is precisely the capitalist system that puts profit ahead of the environment which has brought us to a 'climate emergency'. Tory governments' track record is one of underinvesting in green energy production while giving tax breaks and other subsidies to fossil fuel corporations.

Meanwhile, Britain's oil and gas rigs burn off enough unwanted gas to heat a million homes a year. The resulting huge CO2 emissions from this 'flaring' are equivalent to the annual output from a coal-fired power station.

A recent report by the Cambridge Sustainability Commission shows that it's the world's richest who have the largest carbon footprint - not the world's poor.

Johnson's 'building back greener' post-pandemic hype was immediately overshadowed by news from the International Energy Agency that carbon dioxide emissions - the main driver of global heating in the atmosphere - are expected to rocket upwards this year by the second biggest annual rise in history.

This surge in emissions is the result of capitalist governments pouring investment into polluting fossil fuel energy production - mainly coal-fired power stations - in order to stimulate the global economy as it emerges from its Covid-induced recession.

Sustainable production of goods and services for all can only be achieved through democratically planned socialist economies which would eliminate the corrosive profit motive of capitalism.

The Socialist Party is standing candidates in the 6 May local elections as part of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC - see back page). Chris Baugh, the former assistant general secretary of the PCS civil servants' union, who held responsibility for developing the union's policies for combating climate change, has written a briefing paper for TUSC on what councils can do with their existing powers to implement a green agenda. See tusc.org.uk

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

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 Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 21 April 2021:


What we think

Build a Socialist alternative

Capitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights


Football

Football: no trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game


International

Left candidate, Pedro Castillo - surprise of Peruvian elections

USA: cop killings and the anti-racist movement

Superpowers' tensions continue to ratchet up


Elections

Don't trust the Labour right's empty promises

Fight to stop cuts

Keep Liverpool council's One Stop Shops open

Liverpool hustings - only TUSC has a strategy to take on the Tories

Essex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

Carlisle campaign day success

Socialist Party northern region meeting

With public campaigning back in full swing - now is the time to raise fighting fund


Workplace

Socialist Party members - part of a left challenge for Unison's leadership

Fight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Retail workers desperately need a fighting and democratic union

CWU BT ballot - time for action now!

Thurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

Bus workers protest Go-Ahead's 'fire and rehire'

Ballots to defend reps on Woolwich Ferry

PCS leadership ballot underway


News

Long Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Climate change - Johnson spouts 'greenwash 2.0'

Covid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

News in brief


Campaigns

Housing activists storm rental firm's offices

Protests continue against proposed anti-protest laws


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 April 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Climate change:

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

triangleYouth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Socialist change to reverse climate change

triangleThousands march in Glasgow and elsewhere to save the planet

triangleCapitalism's COP26 failure: socialist planning vital

Green:

triangleBrighton bin workers' victory in sight

triangleBuild a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies

triangleCapitalist climate hypocrisy

triangleCWI livestream rally report

Gas:

triangleCOP26 News in brief

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Nationalise gas and energy

triangleWho pays for the climate crisis?

Energy:

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Nuclear energy and renewable energy

triangleFight for socialism to end climate destruction

Carbon:

triangleEast London gentrification plans exposed

Chris Baugh:

triangleSocialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

24/11/21

NHS

Workers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

24/11/21

Violence against women

End sexism and violence against women

24/11/21

Disability

The struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society

24/11/21

Cricket

Cricket's history of racism and elitism

24/11/21

Cuts

Working class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

24/11/21

Eastern

HS2 eastern route cancelled: Fight for a workers' plan for public transport

24/11/21

Pensions

Tories hammer nail in pensions triple lock coffin

24/11/21

NHS

Tories responsible for NHS staff shortages

17/11/21

Sleaze

Tory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

17/11/21

Climate change

Youth fight for well-paid green jobs and socialist change

17/11/21

NHS

Cuts drag NHS to brink

17/11/21

NHS

NHS workers must take action now to save our NHS

17/11/21

NHS

Outsourced Barts health workers in strike ballot for a pay rise

17/11/21

Health

Health and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

17/11/21

MPs

London MPs' second home swindle while workers and students struggle

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999