About a hundred people attended the “Campaign against Climate Change” (CACC) conference in Glasgow on Saturday 1 February.
There were speakers from a wide variety of different campaigns who spoke in the two sessions aimed at mobilising for COP26 in Glasgow in November this year.
Key themes were 1) how to build for COP26 with a heavy focus on how to get more Trade Unions taking action for Green jobs, 2) a just transition to renewables, and 3) campaigning for Free Public Transport.
Two school student strikers announced future school strike dates. They have received invites to speak at STUC Conference and support from Glasgow Trades Council. The school students will be speaking at this year’s May day event in Glasgow, and stated that the theme of the whole event would be the climate.
10-14 February is “Climate Learning Week”, an initiative by NEU, UCU, NUS and TES, which will see activists in schools, colleges and universities campaigning for the climate to be included in the curriculum in this week.
The main discussion and action points revolved around how to get workers taking action in solidarity with the school students and turning up in numbers at November’s COP26. There was agreement about school student strikers touring union branches and conferences to call for this.
We agreed to organise a climate bloc on the 21 March UN anti-racism day demonstration in Glasgow and for networking and campaigning ahead of the next two climate strikes (14 February and March).
Suzanne Jeffery (chair of CACC and CACCTU) called for activists to aim for workers to take action side by side with the school strikers on the Global Climate Strike which takes place on 3 April, and for transport unions to put on free transport for COP26. A CACC Transport working group was created.
Glasgow “Labour for a Green New Deal” met on 29 January to plan for campaigning around COP26. We planned for a joint event coinciding with COP26, hosted by The World Transformed in collaboration with Labour for a Green New Deal.
Suggestions for further discussion include: inviting all Scottish CLPs to list themselves as “sponsors” of the event, producing a regular newsletter between now and COP26 for circulation to all CLPs, and promoting a green agenda at the Scottish Labour conference in October and in the current Scottish Policy Forum consultation.
From April or May onwards, once weather improves, we hope to start doing some street stalls, not in city centre but on the outskirts, about, for example, improved local bus services into the city centre. We will try to get members of local CLPs involved as well.
Class struggle environmentalism
Saturday 14 March, 10.30am- 5.30pm
Park View School, London,
Join this day of discussions and workshops!
Buy tickets, or book a free space in the creche online. The last two years have seen an upsurge of environmental activism: the youth climate strikes and Extinction Rebellion. Workers’ Liberty activists have been involved in these actions, and in previous waves of climate activism.
Capitalism is the central driver of environmental crises. Class struggle environmentalism, and the ideas of Marxist ecology, are key to stopping climate catastrophes. Workers’ Liberty has been developing, debating, and putting into practice these politics.
Save the date, book transport and tickets, invite everyone you know!
Early bird tickets end 14 February: £18 high waged, £8 low waged, £3 unwaged. £1 for school students. Tickets and creche can also be booked in person or over the phone.
On the streets 14 February!
The world’s “biodiversity hotspots” have provided refuges for many species and ecosystems — from wider climatic changes — for millions of years.
Climatic stability encourages wider and more robust biodiversity. The continued effectiveness of many of these crucial sanctuaries is now under threat from global catastrophic climate changes, one study from 3 February has shown.
This is one of many impacts of climate crises which is bad in itself and also contributes further to environmental threats — in this case from biodiversity loss. It should be taken as yet another call to arms in the fight for climate action.
The seriousness of the dangers are however no reason for demoralisation. Every victory we have in our environmental struggle — even small and temporary victories — tends to lead to less damage; a tangible if immeasurable improvement.
And ultimately, the prospect of a socialist working-class movement which can halt and even reverse climate change is still on the table, and absolutely worth fighting for. The core of this wisdom has driven much of the youth climate strike movement. The next strike is on 14 February. Students and young people from across the UK will be taking part.
Outsourced workers at the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will continue striking over workplace issues, and will be raising environmental slogans that day, with a delegation to the climate demo.
Socialist environmentalists should talk to colleagues and organise plans for the day at work. Previously, readers of Solidarity have organised rallies by workplaces with delegations of workers joining youth demonstrations; others have collaborated with co-workers to make short videos for social media on the importance of climate action.
Where no such workplace plans — however small — will be made to happen this time, I’d encourage readers to take time off work to join youth climate strikes, to support and link up with them. In both cases, bringing fundamental socialist and working-class politics to bear on climate activism is crucial.