CAPITALISM CAN’T STOP CLIMATE CHANGE — Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group

This article first appeared in The Anvil Vol 10 No 6, published 31 December 2021. Credit:

http://www.mamamia.com.au/school-climate-strike-australia/ COP26, the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, was a monumental failure.

It was supposed to be the forum where the world finally committed to emissions reductions sufficient to meet the target of the Paris Agreement: […]

The majority of the capitalist class recognises in theory that climate change is a grave problem requiring drastic steps, but each government wants to protect their own capitalists.

The Australian Government is conspicuous by being on the list of bad guys at almost every point. Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison signed up to a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, but only after almost every other advanced country (and many others) had done so.

However, its 2030 target is only a 26-28% reduction from 2010 levels. Even without lifting a finger it will definitely achieve 30% and possibly 35%, so the refusal to promise more is ferociously political.

In sectoral negotiations, 40 countries promised to phase out coal, but Australia was not one of them. More than 80 countries pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030, but Australia was not one of them. Neither were other big natural gas producers (and therefore producers of fugitive emissions) Russia and Iran.

And the Australian Government’s zeal in funding expansion of fossil fuel exports is joined with almost matching enthusiasm by the main opposition party, Labor. Similar stances have been taken by other large fossil fuel exporters, including Canada.

There is a reason for this. Capitalist governments exist, first and foremost, to protect the interests of their own capitalist class. There is enormous sunk capital invested in fossil fuels and the industries using them as inputs.

Governments want to protect these investments to the maximum extent possible. So when a problem is identified and specific action is required to address it, the governments that could make the biggest difference are ones least likely to sign up to it.

And on the rare occasion where a government that can make a big difference signs up (as Brazil has over attempts to stop deforestation), it is an attempt at fishing for international assistance that won’t have to be returned if targets aren’t met.

continues HERE..CAPITALISM CAN’T STOP CLIMATE CHANGE — Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group

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