By Eoin McCaul

It hasn’t taken long into 2020 for the climate crisis to once again grab our attention, with two storms in two weeks devastating areas of the UK with intense flooding. As extreme weather conditions become more and more common, it is vital that we escalate the struggle to tackle climate change immediately.

The school climate strike movement, started by Greta Thunberg nearly two years ago, continues to gather momentum, with striking students joining Valentine’s Day rallies across the world. The date marked the first anniversary of nationwide climate strikes in the UK and, ahead of the UN climate talks in Glasgow later this year, it’s necessary that this becomes a key target of the climate movement.

While Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion dollars to fight the climate crisis, Amazon continues to perpetuate the problem, working with oil and gas companies to help them better extract fossil fuels. For so long as it is profitable to destroy the environment, these practices will continue under capitalism.

Capitalism has no solution

It must be emphasised that this is a capitalist crisis, which can only be fought with socialist measures. As Marx put it, “Capitalism tends to destroy its two sources of wealth: nature and human beings.” We cannot look for capitalism to bring about a solution to this crisis, and must emphasise the importance of socialist change at the heart of each of these movements.

Since the 2015 Paris climate agreement, £1.5 trillion has been poured into fossil fuels by 33 major global banks. Even if the targets set by the agreement were met, we would still be set for disastrous consequences. There is no time left to sit idly and trust in capitalist politicians to fix the problem. 

System change, not climate change

The only viable, sustainable solution to the climate crisis is a democratic socialist society that breaks with the capitalist system by seizing the resources from the hands of the private profiteers. With public ownership, democratic planning and workers’ control over the chain of production, there would be no fear of switching to eco-friendly methods that do not breed overproduction and waste.