Eco-Socialism or Eco-Imperialism?

Building a Climate Movement of Working People against Capitalism and War

A Just Transition for All Workers: Demands of the New Communist Party

  • A 30-hour work week with no loss of pay
  • An end to oil exploration within New Zealand borders
  • 100% renewable energy owned by the whole people
  • 100% employment to repair our natural environment
  • Reparations to Māori for land loss and destruction
  • Full support for Pacific nations struggling with sea levels

The Capitalist Roots of the Climate Crisis

Most of society has recognised that the climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Yet as any worker knows, not all of society has the same interests. The capitalist class, driven by profit, wants to not only preserve their ability to make a profit but try and increase them at the same time. This means that any action the capitalists take on climate change is going to be one that further enriches them. That is their ‘solution’ to the climate crisis.

Bourgeois climate change action, so that they are allowed to keep making a profit, hides the real causes of the climate crisis – themselves. Right now, capitalists are destroying the Amazon Rainforest for farmland, destroying one of Earth’s biggest tools in the fight to prevent unsustainable CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Environmentalism is also incompatible with the capitalists’ desire for imperialist war, war started only to ensure their dominance and capital access in countries all around the world. The destruction caused by US/NATO bombing in Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraq and so many other countries not only destroys so many people’s lives but turns the natural environment into bomb craters. The US military occupation of Japan post-WW2 which continues to this day is decimating Okinawa’s biodiversity.

The reckless oil exploration occurring on our own shores has led to the destruction of vast amounts of wildlife and scenery. Oil drilling Inevitably leads to disasters such as the Rena, which left a decades long legacy of toxins and leading to the death of over 2,000 sea birds and destroyed one of New Zealand’s most unique landscapes.

Furthermore, the Pike River Mine disaster showed us that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t only have no regard for the earth that provides it’s mega profits, but that it’s willing to show little to no regard for the workers who risk their lives daily for these same profits.

Eco-Imperialism: The Capitalists’ Solution

The capitalists have already tried several entirely toothless programmes, such as the Carbon Trading Scheme and the Zero Carbon Act. The left wing of the capitalists has turned to a new scheme, the ‘Green New Deal’. Despite their spin, this would be just as harmless to the ordinary worker, and further strengthen the capitalist profit.

Under these schemes, public funds generated by taxing the workers’ wage are funnelled into the capitalist economy in another bail out under the guise of ‘green innovation’. When market collapse threatens their profits, they will take more money from the working class this way. Even if companies funded are state-owned, this has little benefit to the worker. Whether public or private, the worker has no say in how the company is run, and as John Key’s asset sales show, can just be sold off at a later date despite public opinion.

Capitalists have also begun to target Global South nations and further neo-colonialism through these ‘green’ companies. Economic adjustment forced on these nations by the IMF, World Bank and UN can now be done through an environmental lens: gutting domestic industry deemed un-environmental to be replaced with Western companies deemed ‘environmentally-friendly’, i.e. allowing greater  extraction of resources and profit back to the West.

The US military is the single largest polluter in the world. It pollutes more than 140 other countries – over 70% of the world. Capitalist solutions that hide the real cause of the crisis, capitalism’s drive for profit and US imperialism, are powerless to affect real change.

Eco-Socialism: The Workers’ Solution

It is clear that Eco-Socialism and the abolition of profit and war is the only solution to the climate crisis. This involves abolishing profit and ensuring economic development is based on the interests of the working-class, including a liveable planet! The cover of this pamphlet outlines several key policies to achieve this.

This kind of genuine environmental transition requires a workers’ government to implement, rather than waiting for scraps tossed down to us like the reformists. For this, the working-class to organise itself as a class for its own interests to solve the climate crisis, rather than submit to the capitalists’ plans which as already discussed will not do anything to solve the problem. Already trade unions like Unite have publicly recognised the necessity of an anti-capitalist climate movement. Communists, unions and every worker need to work together to have any hope of accomplishing this.

We encourage you to talk and organise with your co-workers to push your union to support Eco-socialism and add your collective voice to the fight to save the Earth.

System Change not Climate Change!