The latest report from a United Nations agency shows that the world is on track for a temperature rise this century of at least 2.7 degrees Celsius.
This is double the rise that the planet is currently undergoing. This has already brought forest fires, droughts and floods. A doubling of this figure would have unimaginable consequences.
The main reason why we are entering this danger zone is that governments have failed to meet their targets. According to the UN report, global promises would only take 7.5% off predicted emissions in 2030 rather than the 55% that is needed.
All of this means that the world has just eight years to take an additional 28 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent off annual emissions.
This is why the global protests on COP26 are so important.
The only weapon to bring about change is a movement of people power. Without such a movement, governments will continue to listen to corporations. They will pay lip service to the problem – but they will not take decisive action.
Ireland provides a good example of how this hypocrisy works.
We have a Green Party in government who delight in talking about carbon taxes that hit ordinary people. They assume that people have a choice about what sort of heating they will use or whether or not to leave their cars behind.
What the Greens forget is that these choices are constrained by economic circumstances. If you live in a rural area or want to ensure you get to work on time, public transport may not be an option. Housing costs means that you may have been forced to move outside cities and so you must use a car.
Similarly, you might want to convert your home heating to green energy but if you do not have the money to make the conversion, it is not a matter of choice.
Socialists by contrast want to tackle a capitalist system that restricts public investment and demands continual expansion in the name of profit.
In Ireland, for example, data centres consume 11% of our electricity and this is set to rise to 30%. Yet there is no need for continual expansion if restrictions were put on the collection of data that is used to market the growing number of products to individual consumers.
Ironically, every Green TD voted to allow data centres to consume more of our electricity- while penalising us with carbon taxes.
To save the planet, we need a different vision of environmental politics than that offered by the pro-capitalist Greens.
People Before Profit offers that vision and that is why we are urging all supporters to join us on our contingents at the November 6th COP26 marches.
Times and Locations of the Protests
November 6th, 2021
Belfast: Belfast City Centre, 12pm
Cork: City Library, Grand Parade, 12pm
Derry: Waterloo Place, 2pm
Dublin: Garden of Remembrance, 12pm
Galway: Spanish Arch, 12pm
Limerick: Bedford Row, 12pm
Mayo: Market Square, Castlebar, 1pm
Sligo: Wine St Car Park, 12pm
Waterford: Red Square, 12pm