System Change Not Climate Change is a network of North American ecosocialists united in the belief that capitalism is driving climate change and that a radical international grassroots movement can stop it. The organization was founded in 2013 by U.S. and Canadian climate activists who understood that the fossil-fueled capitalist system which caused the climate crisis was not going to save us. As long as we are ruled by a powerful oligarchy that profits from business as usual, they will thwart any mobilization of society to make the deep changes necessary to maintain a livable planet.
As the ecological crisis deepens and can no longer be mystified by disinformation campaigns, a parade of false solutions will be promoted from spraying reflective aerosols into the upper atmosphere to building thousands of new nuclear power plants to deploying non-existent clean coal and carbon capture and storage technologies.
These fantasies will not save us. We need a democratically run, planned economy to serve people and life on Earth by rapidly and radically reducing our fossil fuel consumption and poisoning of the planet.
Green capitalism is a dead end. So are liberal parties like the US Democrats and Canadian Liberals and the corporate friendly approach of most Green NGOs. SCNCC envisions a climate justice movement united with the labor movement, First Nations/Indigenous and other struggles for liberation to create an alternative to the upside down world shaped by fossil fuels and corporate power.
Another world is possible, but we need more ecosocialists to make it happen. We adopted these points of unity and basic demands in 2014. If you agree with them, join our network and organize for system change!
Points of Unity
- The current ecological crisis results from the capitalist system, which values profits for a global ruling elite over people and the planet. It must therefore be confronted through an international mass movement of working people around the world.
- We are for building a multi-racial, multi-ethnic left united against the ecological destruction spawned by capitalism. Movements for sustainability and against ecological degradation must be led, to the fullest extent possible, by those who are most directly affected and who therefore have the highest stake in the outcome of the struggles we engage in.
- We recognize that the exploitation and destruction of the planet is intricately linked to the exploitation and oppression of human beings. We oppose all forms of oppression including racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia. We support efforts, in communities and workplaces, to overcome these barriers to collective empowerment.
- We are for workers’ power and sustainability, for a society that is free, just, and equitable, that fosters human creativity and productivity while healing the rifts generated by capitalism among people and between human society and the earth’s ecology.
- We fight for reforms to mitigate the effects of climate change and other ecological calamities but recognize that social transformation is our only hope to solve the worsening crisis. As we build movements that address immediate ecological concerns, it is with this revolutionary objective in mind.
- We support grassroots movements and political formations that operate independently of the capitalist-controlled party systems and oppose corporate, market-driven solutions to the climate crisis.
- We are a nonsectarian network, maintaining a flexible and open approach to organizing in order to build as strong an environmental movement as possible. While asserting that a change to the current social and economic system is the only way out of our planet’s ecological crisis, we work with groups and individuals who have not reached the same conclusions but who nonetheless are fighting for the vital reforms necessary to mitigate the effects of capitalism’s assault on our biosphere.
- Banning of fracking and tar sands extraction and an immediate transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
- Public ownership and democratic control of production, starting with the energy and financial industries
- The economy democratically planned according to social need and ecological sustainability.
- Full development of clean and renewable energy sources
- Ecologically sustainable agriculture and fishing, and the production of healthy foods
- Source reduction of waste and toxic products
- Full development of public transportation, a national rail system and bicycle-friendly infrastructure
- Full indigenous sovereignty and complete recognition of the right to self-determination. Governments must honor and fulfill all treaty obligations that entitle native peoples to land, water, food, hunting rights, fishing rights, health care, housing, etc. Full reparations to indigenous peoples for historical injustices.
- Full employment, transitioning millions from military and fossil-fuel related jobs to union jobs creating a renewable energy infrastructure
- Protection of biodiversity, including species and genetic diversity
- Environmental justice
- removal of waste sites, incinerators, polluting industries, generators, transportation hubs and highways from oppressed communities
- access to clean drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities, green spaces and fresh, nutritionally dense foods at low cost
- protection and empowerment of communities most vulnerable to climate catastrophes
- High taxation of the 1% and the corporations most responsible for the economic and environmental crises
- Defund the Pentagon
Photo at top: Banner at Fridays for Future student protest in Berlin, Feb 22, 2019 Credit: Leonhard Lenz CC0