The climate crisis is upon us. Temperatures in the last five years (2015-2019) are the hottest since the pre-industrial period (1850-1900). The top 20 hottest years happened in the last 22 years.
The earth is now 1.1 degrees Celsius hotter than pre-industrial levels or a few tenths of a degree shy of the target temperature change to avert catastrophic climate-related disasters. Scientists are giving the world 10 years to make deep and drastic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions if it is serious in meeting the target peaking.
The major culprit, afterall, in the continuing rise of carbon emissions is the unsustainable production and wasteful consumption in industrialized countries, and resource plunder by big corporations and capitalist countries. Meanwhile, poor and vulnerable communities and countries continue to bear the devastating impacts of global warming that aggravates their poverty and worsens natural disasters that they have to endure.
In spite this emergency, governments and big corporations are dragging their feet in leading the world to the desired climate solution. In 2018, carbon emissions have grown two percent from the previous year. Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is now at 411 parts per million (ppm), surpassing the upper limit for climate balance of 350 ppm.
Leading imperialist countries United States and China along with their big corporations remain as the primary global carbon emitters and resource plunderers. The US under President Trump continues to deny the existence of climate change and has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. China which is the current number 1 top carbon polluter continue expand their fossil fuel consumption thereby increasing their carbon emissions.
US and China with other imperialists continue to implement neo-liberal policies such as the expansion and intensification of fossil fuel production, mineral extraction, and agricultural plantations. They offer profit-driven and market-oriented false climate solutions such as nuclear power plants, mega-dam projects, deep sea mining, clean coal and that will only end in contributing to resource depletion, ecological destruction, and bringing humankind to the brink of extinction. As the people resist neo-liberal policies and false climate solutions, imperialists and their partner governments intensify their repressive measures and are becoming outright fascist.
But the youth and the people are not taking this sitting down. The youth, especially those in Northern countries like Greta Thundberg, cannot stand the inaction of their governments and the business as usual manner of big corporations. They have taken to the streets to mobilize in their millions to call for concrete and meaningful steps to address the climate crisis. There is a climate emergency, they say, and we need to have climate strikes. The Global Climate Strike in September 2019 mobilized at least 4 million people in more than 150 countries demanding immediate, significant carbon emissions from governments, corporations and international institutions like the United Nations.
The youth are boldly underscoring that we cannot continue with the global setup where monopoly capitalists dictate the economy and politics of the world. They are calling for climate justice. They are emphasizing the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, where countries with historically and currently high emissions of greenhouse gases should take the lead in mitigating and adapting to climate impacts.
More importantly, the youth and the people are demanding system change! They are fed up with the plunder and war of imperialist countries. From West Papua, Hongkong, Haiti, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, to Catalona and Lebanon, people are rising up against their governments which are becoming more repressive and undemocratic.
One concrete example is the protest waged by millions of Chileans against the neoliberal policies in their country. This forced the government not only to rewrite their pro-globalization constitution, but it also led to the withdrawal of Chile from hosting the 25th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 25) in Santiago City, Chile this year.
In Brazil and Latin America, people rose up to condemn the inutile Balsonaro government to handle the forest fires in the Amazon and its neoliberal program of privatizing the Amazon forest in favor of corporations and big landlords.
In Indonesia, West Papuans have risen up in hundreds of thousands to assert their right to self-determination and national liberation. One major fuel of this West Papuan movement is their struggle against foreign corporate mining that land-grabbed their ancestral lands, depleted their resources, despoiled their environment, and violated their rights.
The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) Commission 19 on the Environment and Climate Justice (Commission XIX) congratulates the youth in leading the current struggle for climate change.
The ILPS maintains that the global struggle for climate justice is interconnected with the global struggle for social justice. We have a common enemy in monopoly capitalism and the imperialist powers are the ultimate causes of climate and social injustice. The real solutions to the climate crisis, and the economic, financial, political and social crises lie in the hands of the people and the movements that are struggling to resist imperialist control and plunder of the world, and are seeking alternatives to the rotten system of global capitalism. (ILPS Chairperson Statement on Paris Agreement November 23, 2015.)
The ILPS Commission XIX joins the November 29, 2019 Climate Strike. Let us tirelessly raise again our fists and voices, chanting we want CLIMATE JUSTICE AND WE WANT IT NOW!