Who is paying for the climate crisis?
Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1148/33051
Excerpt from The Socialist newspaper, September 22, 2021
Climate strikers in Sheffield, 14.2.20, photo Sheffield Socialist Party (Click to enlarge)
Sam Morden, Socialist Party of South Tyne and Wear
It is the working class and poor of the world who will suffer the most from climate change. Only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. But in executing their “plan” to deal with the climate emergency, the bosses want to make workers pay – with price hikes, taxes and our health.
In March, after just six months, the government’s £1.5billion ‘green homes grant’ was scrapped. The program was designed in part to replace natural gas boilers with low-emission heat pumps. Domestic heating accounts for a significant share of national CO2 emissions. So much for “building back greener”!
Other suggested measures include replacing all or part of natural gas with hydrogen. But government forecasts suggest hydrogen could be up to five times more expensive than natural gas by 2040.
With the government’s market-driven approach, the financial burden falls on owners, many of whom have been hit hard by austerity and Covid, to ensure that a private company installs green technology. Already cash-strapped landlords, housing associations and councils are likely to avoid improvements or pass the costs on to tenants.
Green power, including wind and solar, is becoming cheaper as technology develops – but the intermittent nature of power generation means a complete overhaul of the national grid is needed, including the storage. The privatized, for-profit-run national grid will likely continue to raise prices to help fund this, with the costs ultimately being passed on to customers by utility companies.
In August, it was announced that eleven million households would face a price hike on their energy bills. Under pressure from profiteering energy suppliers, government regulator Ofgem agreed to raise the price cap.
National Grid, along with privatized energy companies, should become democratic public ownership; thus, energy prices can be set at an affordable and democratically decided level. The investments necessary for the transformation of energy production can be planned, unpolluted by the pursuit of profit.
This must be broadened with a socialist program, so that the global working class can democratically plan a path through the next century, using the wealth of capitalists and control of the economy, to divert money to where it is most needed. no longer necessary to save our planet.
In The Socialist of September 22, 2021:
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The Socialist September 22, 2021 |
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