Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 August 2021

Capitalism = climate catastrophe

Fight for a socialist alternative to save humanity

photo 80 trading 24/CC

photo 80 trading 24/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Murray, Socialist Party national committee

First the good news - it is still possible to avoid a climate apocalypse. And the bad news? It is already too late to avoid climate catastrophe!

This is the verdict of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) latest report published ahead of the international climate summit in Glasgow this November.

The IPCC's 2018 report gave us the handy slogan "1.5 to stay alive" - pointing out that even a 1.5C increase in global average temperatures above pre-industrial levels would result in disastrous effects on the eco-system, but would still allow global warming to stabilise and human life to survive.

The latest report shows that we are already at +1.1C, set to smash through 1.5C, and headed for the 3C - beyond which you get a series of 'tipping point' events. These would set the planet on a course for a runaway greenhouse effect, which would be irreversible and could make human life unviable.

This year's IPCC report tells us that no matter what carbon reductions are carried out we are going to hit 1.5C by 2030.

This tells us what we already know. We've seen the deadly floods that tore through communities in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, the wildfires that have laid waste to swathes of California, Australia, Russia, Greece and Turkey, and the unprecedented heatwave in America's Pacific North West. Thanks to the lack of action by capitalist governments to reduce emissions, more of such events are expected.

Of course, our rulers are not silent. With the UK government hosting the UN's 'Conference of Parties' (COP26) talks, we can expect to see plenty of photo-ops at wind farms and the announcement of ambitious new targets for carbon reduction. What we will not see is any meaningful action to meet those targets.

COP26 should be facing up to the fact that the system of 'cap and trade' - selling the right to pump greenhouse gases in to the atmosphere - has been a complete failure. Canada has actually increased its carbon emissions since agreeing the 'Paris Accords'!

The British government's performance fares little better. True, there's been a 29% reduction in carbon emissions in the last decade (mainly due to continuing deindustrialisation), but this still leaves it about 20% short of its target for 2030.

Boris Johnson's response is to announce ambitious new targets, while also giving the green light to further oil and gas exploration, a new coal mine, and a big expansion of the national road network.

The 'good news' aspect of the IPCC report should be a call to action. But although it's in capitalism's overall strategic interests to avoid climate catastrophe, its political leaders seem determined to soldier on with profit-friendly climate change schemes that have already failed.

For meaningful action, we need to fight for a change of direction. But it's not enough to ask the villains of this story to change their ways. Capitalism is the climate crisis.

Only the working class, which has no stake in capitalism but whose collective power can halt capitalist production, is the key to changing society. Armed with a programme for the socialist transformation of society, it can bring about the global reconstruction that can save us from a climate inferno.

It can replace the chaos of capitalism with democratic socialist planning of the economy, to meet the needs of humanity and the environment.

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 11 August 2021:


Defend the NHS. Fight the Tory pay insult. Prepare strike action!

NHS: Kick out the privatisers, Fight for funding, Build for strike action


Tory government nationalises Sheffield steel plant

Tory cuts worsened crime and Johnson 'blitz' won't help

Fight energy price hike

Thanks to the miners - an example of workers' struggle and solidarity

News in brief


Olympic 'success' masks cuts and inequality in sport

Starmer's faithful Guardian

Campaigns news

Capitalism = climate catastrophe

Rising against a rigged and rotten system - Socialism 2021

London Pride cancelled - pandemic shows protest Pride is necessary

London: Hundreds protest for trans rights

Save Newham's theatres from Labour council cuts!

Socialist Party young members summer school

A day in the life of a young hospitality worker

West Midlands: austerity and capitalism offers no future for young people

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Don't privatise Dudley libraries

Socialist Party: Solely funded by the working class

Review - The Struggle for World Socialism


Waltham Forest: Fighting for a home for Nadia and homes for all


August 1991 - The aborted military coup in the 'Soviet Union'

Workplace news

Ballot majority essential to continue DVLA strike action

Night tube strike suspended to allow talks - scrap compulsory duties!

RMT strike solid on East Midlands rail

You need a union when the time comes to fight

Unions protest at exploitative Leicester company Food Attraction

Over 3,000 votes for fighting socialist programme in CWU

NSSN to lobby TUC

International news

Beirut's devastating port explosion one year on


Home   |   The Socialist 11 August 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleBritain's economic growth figures mask fragile false recovery

triangleOxfam 'Inequality Kills' report

triangleCatastrophic energy bill hike - a crisis made by capitalism

triangleGetting organised for 2 March walkout

triangleBritain's waterways choked with a 'chemical cocktail'

Socialist Alternative:

triangleFight the rotten establishment

triangleGreensill scandal, Corruption ... Build a socialist alternative

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Education under capitalism

triangleOur lives, our jobs - not safe in Tory hands


triangleCarlisle Socialist Party: What now for Ukraine and Russia?

triangleThe Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

triangle1 March: Socialist Party new website launch


triangleCOP26: protest for Socialist change to reverse climate chaos

triangleWe need system change to halt climate change


triangleVaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism


triangleEast London gentrification plans exposed

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Restore Cardiff's slashed services



Just Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut



University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks



Tube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions



Workers and students unite and fight



Fighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout



Brighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back



Surrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate



Newham City Farm - closed with no consultation



London Socialist Party women's meeting



1 March: Socialist Party new website launch



Coventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council



Scunny scaffs action forces bosses to the table



Usdaw: 'Reinstate Max' week of action



Trade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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



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: 020 8988 8786

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



Alphabetical listing

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022