The following statement was drafted by the Ecosocialist Alliance, a UK-based coalition organized by Green Left, Left Unity and Anti-Capitalist Resistance. After discussion and adoption of amendments proposed the Global Ecosocialist Network, it has been endorsed by a wide range of individuals and groups, including System Change Not Climate Change, the Green Eco-Socialist Network, and Climate and Capitalism. It will be distributed at COP26, the United Nations climate conference that opens on October 31 in Glasgow.
COP 26 unfolds against a backdrop of growing climate chaos and ecological degradation, after an unprecedented summer of heatwaves, wildfires, and flooding events. Climate change is upon us, and we face multiple interlinked and inseparable crises- of climate, environment, extinction, economy and zoonotic diseases.
As ecosocialists we say another world is possible, but a massive social and political transformation is needed, requiring the mobilisation of the mass of working people across the globe. Only the end of capitalism’s relentless pursuit of private profit, endless waste, and rapacious drive for growth, can provide the solution not only to climate change, environmental degradation, and mass extinction, but to global poverty, hunger, and hyper exploitation.
The big issues of climate change will be debated in Glasgow but whatever is agreed, capitalism can at best mitigate climate change, not stop it. Genuine climate solutions cannot be based on the very market system that created the problem. Only the organised working class, and the rural oppressed and First Nations of the global south -women and men – have the power to end capitalism, because their labour produces all wealth and they have no great fortune to lose if the system changes, no vested interests in inequality, exploitation, and private profit.
Action now to halt climate change! We demand:
- All fossil fuels must stay in the ground – no new gas, coal, or oil!
- A rapid move to renewable energy for transport, infrastructure, industry, agriculture, and homes
- A massive global programme of public works investing in green jobs, and replacing employment in unsustainable industries.
- A globally funded just transition for the global south to develop the necessary sustainable technologies and infrastructure.
- A major cut in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 70% by 2030, from a 1990 baseline. This must be comprehensive – including all military, aviation, and shipping emissions – and include mechanisms for transparent accounting, measurement, and popular oversight.
- The end of emissions trading schemes.
- An immediate end to the encroachment on and destruction of the territories of indigenous peoples through extractivism, deforestation and appropriation of land.
Sustainability and global justice
The long-term global crisis and the immediate effects of catastrophic events impact more severely on women, children, elders, LGBTQ+ and disabled people and the people of First Nations. An eco-socialist strategy puts social justice and liberation struggles of the oppressed at its core.
Migration is, and will increasingly be, driven by climate change and conflicts and resource wars resulting from it. Accommodating and supporting free movement of people must be a core policy and necessary part of planning for the future.
We call for:
- Immediate cancellation of the international debt of the global south.
- A rapid shift from massive ‘factory’ farms and large-scale monoculture agribusiness towards eco-friendly farming methods and investment in green agricultural technology to reduce synthetic fertiliser and pesticide use in agriculture and replace these with organic methods and support for small farmers.
- A major reduction in meat and dairy production and consumption through education and provision and promotion of high- quality, affordable plant-based alternatives.
- The promotion of agricultural systems based on the right to food and food sovereignty, human rights, and with local control over natural resources, seeds, land, water, forests, knowledge, and technology to end food and nutrition insecurity in the global south.
- The end of deforestation in the tropical and boreal forests by reduction of demand for imported food, timber, and biofuels.
- An end to ecologically and socially destructive extractivism, especially in the territories of indigenous peoples and First Nations .
- Respect for the economic, cultural, political and land rights of indigenous peoples and First Nations.
- A massive increase in protected areas for biodiversity conservation.
- End fuel poverty through retrofitting energy existing homes and buildings with energy efficient sustainable technologies.
We demand a just transition:
- Re-skilling of workers in environmentally damaging industries with well paid alternative jobs in the new economy.
- Full and democratic involvement of workers to harness the energy and creativity of the working people to design and implement new sustainable technologies and decommission old unsustainable ones.
- Resources for popular education and involvement in implementing and enhancing a just transition, with environmental education embedded at all levels within the curriculum.
- Urgent development of sustainable, affordable, and high-quality public transport with a comprehensive integrated plan which meets peoples needs and reduces the requirement for private car use.
- A planned eco-socialist economy which eliminates waste, duplication and environmentally harmful practices, reduction in the working week and a corresponding increase in leisure time.
- Work practices reorganised with the emphasis on fair flexibility and working closer to home, utilising a free and fast broadband infrastructure.
As eco-socialists we put forward a vision of a just and sustainable world and fight with every ounce of our energy for every change, however small, which makes such a world possible. We will organise and assist wherever possible worker’s and community organisations internationally, raising demands on governments and challenging corporations.
To support the statement and to keep informed about the Ecosocialist Alliance and our particular actions email email@example.com
Green Left (UK)
Left Unity (UK)
Global Ecosocialist Network (International)
ecosocialist.scot (Scotland, UK)
Red Green Labour (UK)
People Before Profit (Ireland)
System Change Not Climate Change (USA/Canada)
An Rabharta Glas (in English Green Left) (Ireland)
Climate and Capitalism (International)
Socialist Project (Canada)
Ecosocialist Independent Group (UK) Lancaster City Council
Socialist Action (Canada)
Anti-Fracking Nanas (UK)
Pittsburgh Green Left (USA)
One Vote for the Planet (UK)
Beatrix Campbell (UK) (OBE, writer and broadcaster)
George Monbiot (UK) (journalist, author & environmental activist)
Victor Wallis (USA) (ecosocialist author and professor of political science at the Berklee College of Music in Boston)
Professor Krista Cowman (UK), (Historian)
Peter Sainsbury (Australia) (Professor, School of Medicine, Sydney, University of Notre Dame)
Professor Julia Steinberger (Social Ecology/Ecological Economics) (Switzerland)
Romayne Phoenix (UK)
Jhon Giyai (West Papua)
David Schwartzman (USA) (Climate/energy scientist Member of the Global Greens COP26 Working Group-International Committee Green Party of the United States)
Dee Searle (UK)
Steve Masters (UK) (Environmental activist; Green Party District Councillor, W Berkshire)
Jim Petersen (USA)
Osver Polo Carraco (Peru)
Sally Lansbury (UK) Labour Party Cllr. Allerdale Borough Council
Rafael Arturo Guariguata (Germany)
Tina Rothery (UK)
Christopher Lozinski (USA)
Pat McCarthy (UK)
Clive Healiss (UK)
Felicity Dowling (UK)
Charles Gate (UK)
Emma Lorraine Coulling (UK)
Ken Barker (UK)
Stephen Hall (UK) (President, Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils)
Lucy Early (UK)
Andrew Francis Robinson (UK)
Kevin Frea (UK) (Deputy Leader, Lancaster City Council)
Richard Finnigan (UK)
John Burr (UK)
Andrea Carey-Fuller (UK)
Paul Hutchens (UK)
Gordon Peters (UK)
Jonathan N Fuller (UK)
Nicole Haydock (UK)
Deborah Fink (UK)
Mary Stuart (UK)
Cathy Slaughter (UK)
Anna Moon (UK)
Oliver Charleston (UK)
William A Richardson (UK)
Tamsin Evans (UK)
Gordon Housley (UK)
Rick Evans (UK)
Geoff Bowman (UK)
Graham Wardrope (UK)