Socialist Party :: Conservative climate plans doomed to failure


Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1153/33221

From The Socialist newspaper, October 27, 2021

Schoolchildren fighting for system change over climate strikes, photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)

Nick Hart, Wolverhampton and the Socialist Party of the Black Country

A few weeks before the COP26 conference in Glasgow, the Tories have finally published their strategy for the UK to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. According to Boris Johnson, this will see the UK “leading the world in ending to our contribution to the currency climate “.

So what’s the plan? Essentially, do a little and leave the rest in the open market!

Of the money needed to implement the strategy, £ 26bn in funding has been pledged by the central government, with an additional £ 90bn ‘expected’ in private sector investment. But far from ordering big companies to turn over part of their £ 900 billion cash reserves to develop green technologies, the Tories are indeed hoping that with initial subsidies and incentives, capitalists can be convinced to decarbonize their operations.

Take, for example, the report’s stated goal of having 600,000 energy efficient heat pumps installed per year by 2028 in place of gas boilers. The government has pledged 90,000 grants to homeowners (not including private tenants) of £ 5,000 to lower the cost of the facility, but not to zero!

The Conservatives then hope that by the time the subsidies have all been paid, companies manufacturing and installing heat pumps will have drastically reduced their prices. That is if they stay in business – several entrepreneurs have gone bankrupt or have been forced to lay off staff due to problems receiving money from the similar ‘Green Homes Grant’ program which was terminated in March 2021 after less. one year of existence. So far, there are no plans to train up to 46,000 engineers who may be needed to meet installation goals.

A similar ‘hit-and-hope’ approach is here to see, with the intention of using technologies such as carbon capture, small nuclear reactors, and hydrogen fuel cells – which are yet to be developed at. large scale.

Investment

The report recognizes that a lot will depend on “the extent to which individuals and businesses adopt green choices.” As investment in new machinery by UK companies has declined steadily in recent years, this raises the question of whether they will be willing to take a short-term hit on their profits to replace polluting vehicles and equipment.

Even if big business could be persuaded to take the necessary steps to decarbonise completely by 2050, it might be too late to prevent global warming from reaching dangerously high levels and causing natural disasters.

Already massive disruptions to daily life in the form of floods, droughts and forest fires are increasingly common around the world. Many climatologists believe that maintaining average global temperatures just 1.5 ° C above their pre-industry levels 200 years ago still risks drastic environmental consequences.

The Tories boast that the UK has already made good progress towards this goal by reducing its carbon emissions by 44% since 1990. But during this period, large amounts of manufacturing, agriculture and extraction have been carried out. displaced abroad, mainly exporting UK greenhouse gases to China, India and elsewhere.

Despite Johnson’s bragging that the Thatcher mine closure program was an early start to decarbonization, all he achieved over the next two decades was a drastic increase in coal imported from across the country. -sea burnt by British power stations. Even today, research from the World Wildlife Fund estimates that emissions from goods imported into the UK represent up to half of the UK’s true carbon footprint.

The way in which former well communities were dug following the closure of coal mining shows the need for a planned transition with alternative jobs found for workers in polluting industries.

But looking at the way conservatives and other capitalist governments around the world have treated Covid, who would trust them to stop climate change in a way that doesn’t favor big business and the super-rich over workers and to ordinary people?

Attempts to move the market away from fossil fuels may result in costs being passed on to the working class in the short term, with shrinking production capacity for oil and gas producers a factor in recent price spikes. While electric vehicles and renewable heating remain unaffordable for many, allowing the running costs of a gasoline car and gas boiler to rise will not automatically encourage people to switch to low-emission alternatives. carbon!

No trust in the market

While the climate situation is serious, it is not hopeless. But we cannot leave global warming to a halt to chance.

For those planning to protest on November 6 as COP26 meets in Glasgow, other cities and millions more, it is clear that rapid and large-scale decarbonization of all aspects of daily life is necessary. But how can we do it?

It will not be while waiting to see if the 100 large companies responsible for 71% of global emissions since 1988 can be blamed or encouraged to adopt sustainable practices. The chaos of the free market was visible to all during the bidding war for PPE and vaccines during the pandemic.

A socialist plan for the economy would see the big corporations that dominate industry, energy, agriculture, transport and finance brought under the democratic control and ownership of the majority of the working class in society. The wealth, research, resources and infrastructure that these companies hold between them could then be brought together and run as part of a plan to end the polluting practices as quickly as possible, and not just when shareholders and directors decide it’s profitable.

It is utopian to imagine that the 1%, who can get out of the worst effects of climate change, will do what is right for the planet and the people who live on it. The looming environmental disaster is undoubtedly one of the reasons why two-thirds of young people in the UK, and many older people, conclude that a socialist system is needed.

If you are one of them, join the Socialist Party to make sure we can stop complete climate change and create a planet for millions of people, not millionaires.

Financial appeal

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the class character of society in many ways. This clearly shows to many that it is the working class that makes society run, not the CEOs of big companies.

The results of austerity have been shown graphically as utilities struggle to cope with the crisis.

  • The material of the Socialist Party is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report workers fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels etc.
  • We must be prepared for the stormy events to come and the need to arm the labor movements with a socialist program – a program that puts the health and needs of mankind before the profits of the few.

Inevitably, during the crisis, we were not able to sell the socialist and raise funds as we normally would.


We therefore urge all our viewers to donate to our Fight Fund.


In The Socialist for October 27, 2021:


Budget

CONSERVATIVE BUDGET

Public spending still threatened by the conservatives

Conservative NHS funding won’t solve staff shortage

Public sector wage freeze – union struggle on for real increase and funding


Combat sexual harassment

Fight against sexism and harassment, and for a safe evening


Climate change

Conservative climate plans doomed to fail – socialist planning is needed

COP26: protest for socialist change to reverse climate chaos

Youth events for the climate

News in brief


Workplace News

Unite the political conference

Gwent Stagecoach workers drive for payday victory

Clarks shoe workers strike to ‘pull and rehire’ the boot

Royal Mail employees oppose ‘unachievable workloads’

General practitioners reject government plans

Work news in brief


Campaigns

Fight for Hackney Children’s Centers continues

Southampton People’s Budget Building an Alternative to Conservative and Labor Austerity

Save Southall Youth Center – Stop All Cuts

Carlisle says make the richest pay, not the poorest!


International

Military coup in Sudan – rebel masses take to the streets


Readers’ reviews

TV review

The Riots 2011 TV review: one week in August


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