The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a broadly “Blairite” think-tank, has published a report, This is a crisis. It considers not just global warming, but other severe and rapid environmental changes.
Climate change will affect poorer and more oppressed people most, on a national and international scale. It has been driven by the richest. The report advocates “just” and “sustainable” societies, and preparation for the impacts of climate change. Often reducing emissions also means improved quality of life, for example reduced consumption of red meat or increased public transport.
IPPR sees the inadequate response so far by governments to climate change as due to the complexity of the issue, “vested interests”, and specific political barriers. The report favourably quotes Engels: “In relation to nature, as to society, the present mode of production is predominantly concerned only about the first, tangible success; and then surprise is expressed that the more remote effects of actions directed to this end turn out to be of quite a different, mainly even of quite an opposite, character” (Dialectics of Nature). However, the report has no talk of overthrowing capitalism, and not much in the way of detailed piecemeal measures.
IPPR promises more detail next year. But really the report is another admonition that *something serious must be done urgently*, without specifics about what and by whom. It does allude to “younger generations” as an agent of change.
Ultimately, though, the working class organising for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism is the only way we can bring about just and sustainable societies.