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22 September 2021

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Who pays for the climate crisis?

Climate strikers in Sheffield, 14.2.20, photo Sheffield Socialist Party

Climate strikers in Sheffield, 14.2.20, photo Sheffield Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Sam Morden, South Tyne and Wear Socialist Party

It is the world's working class and poor that will suffer the most from climate change. Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. But in carrying out their 'plan' to tackle the climate emergency, the bosses want to make workers pay - with price increases, taxes and our health.

In March, after just six months, the government's 1.5 billion 'green homes grant' was scrapped. The scheme was designed in part to replace natural gas boilers with low emission heat pumps. Domestic heating is a significant part of national CO2 emissions. So much for 'building back greener'!

Other suggested measures include replacing natural gas wholly or partly with hydrogen. But government predictions suggest that hydrogen could be up to five times more expensive than natural gas by 2040.

With the market-led approach of the government, the financial burden falls on homeowners, many of whom have been hit hard by austerity and Covid, to arrange for a private company to install green technology. Landlords, housing associations and already cash-strapped councils are likely to avoid improvements, or pass on any costs to tenants.

Green energy, including wind and solar, is becoming less expensive as technology develops - but the intermittent nature of energy generation means a complete overhaul of the National Grid is needed, storage included. Privatised National Grid, run for profit, is likely to continue to increase prices to help finance this with costs eventually passed onto customers by the utility companies.

In August it was announced that eleven million households will be facing a price hike on their energy bills. Under pressure from profiteering energy suppliers, government regulator Ofgem agreed to raise the price cap.

National Grid, along with the privatised energy companies, should be brought into democratic public ownership; that way energy prices can be set at a democratically decided, affordable level. The investment needed to transform energy production can be planned, unpolluted by the drive for profit.

This needs to be broadened with a socialist programme, so the global working class can democratically plan a path through the next century, using the wealth of the capitalists and control of the economy, to divert money to where it is most needed to save our planet.

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In The Socialist 22 September 2021:

What we think

Workers' politics won't come from Labour


Working class under attack

NHS workers reject 3% insult

Energy market chaos makes the case for nationalisation

Tory cuts to Universal Credit: we need a union fightback

Interview: Bakers' union to vote on Labour disaffiliation

Tax fraud could be over 20 billion annually

Life expectancy falls - a condemnation of capitalism


Socialists and the four-day week


10 years since Occupy

Workplace news

End the teaching workload crisis

MOJ pay deal accepted - we demand 10%

Workers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

New strike dates in EMR guards dispute

Stop press: Sparks walk out

Oaks Park strikers call eleven days' more action


German general election


Unemployment, low pay, rip-off uni fees, climate change... Join the fight for Socialism

Yorkshire Youth Fight for Jobs relaunched

W Sussex 'disability tax' - protest not going away

Fighting evictions in Cornwall

Leeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

Socialist Students: Youth lit up when they saw us

York: Non-binary and trans rights protest

Readers' opinion

TV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

Gleision mine deaths: Still fighting for justice

Corbyn had a social care plan

Who pays for the climate crisis?

Famine in Madagascar


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Related links:

Climate change:

triangleSocialist Party Scotland: Socialist change to end climate change

triangleSave the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe

triangleCOP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

triangle'Stop climate change' demonstrations

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: The environment and climate change


triangleSocialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Nationalise gas and energy

triangleCapitalist climate hypocrisy

triangleEnd profit-fuelled crisis


triangleFight to defend homelessness services

triangleContainer delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

triangleThe 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more


triangleBrighton bin workers' victory in sight against Green-led council

triangleBuild a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies


triangleCWI livestream rally report

Article dated 22 September 2021

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triangle21 Oct West London Socialist Party: Youth demand a future

triangle21 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Why socialists builds internationally

triangle21 Oct South West London Socialist Party: After the protests, what way forward for Cuba?


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