Editor’s Note: This appeal was published on August 23 by the British group Anticapitalist Resistance. As the ecosocialist journal Climate and Capitalism observes, the success of this initiative “will depend whether it involves a wide range of ecosocialist currents in launching a non-sectarian and action-oriented coalition.” System Change Not Climate Change agrees.
Capitalism is destroying the planet’s ecosystem for profit, so we must build an international eco-socialist movement rooted in the working class to expropriate businesses, end imperialism and borders, and transform the economy to prioritize human need within planetary limits.
Capitalism is killing the planet. Every day the news gets worse. The desperate drive for profit is tearing apart the ecosystem and now planetary boundaries have been torn down as carbon and other greenhouse gases accumulate.
Internationally millions are aware of the scale of the crisis, but too often people feel paralyzed or helpless to respond. This isn’t the same as removing CFCs or tackling acid rain. The problem of fossil capitalism goes right to the very basis of our society and how the economy is run.
Governments have declared climate emergencies but none are taking the measures needed to overcome this growing crisis. Companies green wash whilst tearing more carbon out of the ground for profits. The Conference of Parties (COP) have been meeting almost every year since 1995 and yet the majority of greenhouse gas emissions has happened since then.
Meanwhile pro-fossil capital lies and false information circulates among conspiracy theorists circles as the far right seeks to transform global warming into a culture war issue which they can then reject as being ‘woke’. Right wing populists take power and accelerate the environmental devastation – the logic of a death cult.
Some environmental activists are focusing on small-scale direct action to raise awareness. Whilst these people are very brave, risking assault and prison, such actions by themselves cannot build a mass movement that can solve the real problem – overthrowing capitalism.
We reject an approach that relies on techno-fixes. As long as technology is in the hands of corporations or billionaires then it will not be used properly to create a better world. We also refuse to collapse into despair. We also reject the view that humanity and the planet is doomed – humans are capable of incredibly wonderful acts that can change the world but as long as we struggle under capitalism we are being crushed and held back.
Anticapitalist Resistance is issuing this call to launch an eco-socialist movement. We are hosting a conference in the autumn to discuss some of these issues and we aim to launch an eco-socialist movement that is rooted in the trade unions, the communities, social movement and our workplaces. Such a movement has to tackle the big issues; expropriation of business and private wealth, socializing housing and land, ending the market economy, dismantling imperialism, fighting for abolition of borders, militarism and policing, social transformation of the economy from the ground up.
Since it is economic activity that is driving Global Warming and other environmental crises, workers will be crucial in not just stopping fossil capital but also building a new economy based on human need within planetary limits. The working class is not just those people in trade unions, it is the billions of people on this planet who rely on their wages to survive, who are exploited and oppressed by capitalists. This includes people who rely on benefits, or are pensioners, or students.
We want to emancipate ourselves and end capitalism as a system which continues to degrade our environment and planet leading to this point of crisis. We recognize that Britain is made of different nations and the environmental struggles will take their own forms. We will need specific demands in the nations as well as international action – none of the problems that global warming raises can be solved nationally.
Ecosocialism 2023 will be held in the autumn, discussing the way capitalism is hostile to the environment, whether we need degrowth and what an eco-socialist movement and strategy will look like. We need to turn theory into action if we are to have any hope of stopping runaway global warming.
If you would like to be involved in helping to organize the conference then please contact us at email@example.com