Climate chaos and the global ecological crisis

Fourth International

One year after the resolution adopted at the 16th World Congress of the Fourth International, the International Committee adopted the following statement.

Since the World Congress of the Fourth International in February 2010, the consequences of climate chaos have become even more obvious. The worst floods in history in Pakistan, an intense heat wave and burning forests in Russia, chaos in Australia, floods in Sri Lanka, heavy rains and mud flows in Brazil… the summer of 2010 witnessed a record number of disasters caused by human made climate change or rather by the capitalist mode of production. What is more, the victims of those disasters are mainly the poor, women and indigenous people as in Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka,… and more largely in the countries of the South.

The enormous oil spill in the Mexican gulf, caused by the greed of BP, new plans for exploiting shale gas in the never stopping race for fossil fuels and profits, clearly show that we are facing a growing ecological crisis. The ongoing struggle by the Ecuadorian people to keep the oil resources in the soil and thus to defend the integrity of the Yasuni territory, protecting its biodiversity, indicates the only way to a real solution.

We are faced with the reappearance of the food crisis which erupted in 2007-2008. This has led to a new increase in food prices and financial speculation on raw materials. This is one of the many causes of the explosion of the revolts and revolutionary process in the Arab world. We support the struggles of peasant movements and rural communities against agribusiness and GMO’s , in defence of local seeds and agro-ecological farming. We also support movements involved in local food production and distribution, including food production in urban ‘food deserts’ in the poor districts of cities in rich countries.

In 2009, greenhouse gas emissions amounted to a total of a little more the 48 billion tons. In order to keep global warming beneath the dangerous threshold of a 2°C rise, the peak of emissions must be reached in 2015 and emissions should diminish to 40-44 billion tons before 2020.

The climate plans of the developing countries are in line with the IPCC proposals but this is not the case for the rich developed countries! Japan, Russia, Canada are opposed to any extension of the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012. The USA, which is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita, and whose emissions increased by 30% between 1990 and 2005, have not adopted any plan for reductions. The “energy package” of the European Union is totally insufficient and continues to rely on market mechanisms, the promotion of agrofuels and nuclear energy, and the privatisation of tropical forests.

After the Cancún summit , climate negotiations will resume in Durban (COP17) at the end of 2011, followed by the RIO +20 summit in 2012. The agreement concluded between the USA and the large emerging countries during the Copenhagen summit, (an agreement supported by the European Union) means that global climate negotiations are now conducted jointly by the USA and China. The so called “green fund” promises financial support for the investment in green technologies in the developing countries; this money will be managed by the World Bank and will partly consist of loans.

Against the logic of speculation, privatisation and commodification of food, we must counterpose another logic, namely the defence of food sovereignty, regaining control over agricultural and food policies, keeping access to natural resources (water, seeds, land) and fighting against the multinationals and the international institutions as well as the governments who are their accomplices.

The mobilisations of Copenhagen, the alternative summit at Cochabamba and the actions during the Cancún conference have shown that radical mobilisations against the capitalist answer to the climate crisis are possible. The urgency to build worldwide social mobilisations against the ongoing destruction of the climate and against capitalist productivism with its insatiable hunger for fossil fuels, is obvious.

The members of the Fourth International will continue to work towards the building of a unitary mass campaign ,together with the activists and the social movements, in the framework of the Climate and Social Justice campaign. This in the perspective of the organisation of counter summits during the Durban (COP17) negotiations and at the summit of Rio 20+. Only an ecosocialist and anticapitalist alternative constitute a real answer to this global crisis.


23rd February 2011

1 Comment

  1. Recently I wrote a blog entry offering a leftist critique of the ideology of “Green” environmentalism, animal rights activism, eco-friendliness, and lifestyle politics in general (veganism, “dumpster diving,” “buying organic,” etc.). I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter and any responses you might have to its criticisms.

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