Fighting climate crises - AWL conference document 2019

Submitted by Zac Muddle on 21 January, 2020 - 9:27 Author: AWL conference 2019 (Jan 2020)
Smoke from industry

1. The engine driving climate change

§1.1 The first research demonstrating that carbon dioxide released through burning fossil fuels would drive global warming was published well over a century ago, the first government warnings in the 1960s, and the first IPCC report in 1990. Now, the scientific consensus about serious human-driven climatic heating - with far-reaching effects - is over 99%. It is the greatest danger facing both humanity and the success of the socialist project.

§1.2 Beyond global warming, there are several major independent environmental threats. Biodiversity loss and species extinction undermine many important ecosystems, leaving plants we are reliant on more susceptible to widespread disease. Water pollution has contributed to hundreds of marine “dead zones” to wildlife. The WHO estimates that air pollution is at dangerous levels for 90% of the world’s population, killing seven million people every year. Depletion of natural resources, soil degradation, deforestation all bring further dangers, notably to food production.

§1.3 These environmental crises, and the social crises which they fuel and will fuel, have in turn social roots. Fossil fuels are available to use as a result of social relations and pass through the “social metabolism” again as they are combusted.

§1.4 A Marxist analysis can elucidate these roots. It is necessary to explain the ever-greater acceleration towards severe and widely acknowledged climate catastrophe. It points the way out of this predicament: how to organise to halt global warming. Workers’ Liberty has studied, developed, and will continue to debate and refine our Marxist analyses of the forces driving climate crises.

2. How to halt climate change

2A. What is needed

§2A.1 Capital’s exploitation and degradation of nature goes hand-in-hand with its exploitation of labour.

§2A.2 The working class is the agent with the capability and interest in transforming society: through immediate reforms as well as in the battle for democratic, rational control of the economy and society as a whole.

§2A.3 The gravity of current and imminent change crises makes the necessity of independent working-class politics more urgent.

§2A.4 We argue for a socialist environmentalist transitional programme to be fought for within workplaces, and more widely in the Labour Party, environmental movement, and beyond, using a united front approach.

§2A.5 This is most urgent in workplaces and industries with high emissions and key roles in the fossil economy, such as transport and energy. Beyond these sectors, widespread workplace environmental action is important for a society-wide transition, for sparking and spreading class struggle, and for stoking working-class environmentalism on the political front of the class war.

§2A.6 We will undertake environmental agitation in universities and colleges as a means of winning young people to socialism and creating a student movement which can act as a political beacon to the workers’ movement. This includes making environmental demands of universities and colleges.

§2A.7 We want to work with the radical environmental movement as a whole and win it to our perspectives. But we want to move the focus of that movement from direct action by small, self-sacrificing groups to mass action. For that reason we regard the climate strikes as the most important opening in the new round of climate struggles in the UK. We need urgently to build mass working-class participation in these strikes and raise their political level. We will use the climate strikes as means of cohering environmentally-minded workers around our activists in workplaces.

2B. "Reform vs revolution"?

§2B.1 We have no confidence in the capitalist class, or their states, to stop climate change. Powerful sections of the capitalist class will fight to stop a green transition. But significant reforms, including environmental reforms, can be and have been won under capitalism. These can limit the speed of climate change, reducing harm and buying us time.

§2B.2 Confronting climate change is not simply a win-or-lose fight: greater emissions mean greater dangers, faster destruction, greater harm.

§2B.3 The IPPC warned, in 2018, that, aiming to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, global net greenhouse emissions should be reduced to half by 2030 and zero by 2050. We must respond with this urgency, but 1.5°C is itself worse than 1°C, 2°C worse still, and 2.5°, 3°, 3.5° each progressively more catastrophic.

§2B.4 There is no cut-off point beyond which abandoning the fight to curb global warming would be rational.

§2B.5 Significant and powerful sections of and tendencies within the capitalist class will fight every major change that is necessary to stop climate catastrophe. We recognise the dangers of “green-washing”. Even sincere liberal and bourgeois attempts to limit climate change are, as a rule, woefully insufficient.

§2B.6 Ultimately, a fully and genuinely green capitalist society is impossible, just as a fully democratic or equal capitalist society is.

§2B.7 Within the immediate fights to curb capitalism’s devastation of nature, we promote a working-class programme and working-class independence, insisting on measures that are adequate to meet the challenge of climate change, in the knowledge that such measures lead to confrontations with the power of capital and its agents in the workers’ movement.

§2B.8 United front methods using transitional environmental demands are necessary both to win immediate environmental reforms and overthrow capitalism to ultimately stop climate change.

2C. Our programme

§2C.1 Humanity needs a major transition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, internationally, as fast as possible: a 2030 target.

§2C.2 We denounce bogus “offsetting” used as green-washing by many capitalists and politicians, or offsetting used an excuse for inaction. We aim for radical transitions across the board internationally. Zero CO2 emissions, at all, is an impossibility as humans emit CO2 by breathing out. That means that genuine offsetting is necessary, and for honesty and precision we demand “net zero” - as a step to net negative.

§2C.3 We support the demands of a “socialist Green New Deal”, as advocated by the FBU and the Clarion, as one initial step.

§2C.4 All major industries should be socialised - taken into public ownership, under democratic control of workers - to facilitate transition. Expropriating the banks, and the wealth of the rich, would make available resources to fund rapid transition and adaptation.

§2C.5 Our programme must and does aim to improve people’s lives, to a comfortable standard of living.

§2C.6 This is necessary for a sustainably classless, democratic society. Without it, the contest for an adequate standard of living, for essentials, will rekindle: a basis of class society. Class societies have exposed themselves as no basis for environmental sustainability. People must be empowered to participate in consciously and collectively running society.

§2C.7 To maintain extensive high living standards requires strong and developed productive forces, and advanced technology.

§2C.8 We demand an immediate ban on fracking, tar sands, other “extreme energy”, and any new fossil power plants. We advocate the least polluting - which to first approximation means fastest - possible phasing out of all fossil-fuelled power stations, heating, and transport.

§2C.9 In general we oppose biomass-fired power stations. Burning biomass produces more CO2 per unit energy than burning coal. Its profligate consumption of vegetation causes deforestation and soil degradation, releasing further CO2 and limiting the ability to grow new forest.

§2C.10 “Carbon Capture and Storage” is not a solution, although we do not oppose its introduction. At best, it provides a sticking plaster, mitigating the worst from power stations which we aim to shut down as soon as possible.

§2C.11 Renewable energy production should be expanded. An integrated and coordinated electricity system using “smart grid” technology would maximise efficiency and reliability.

§2C.12 We support nuclear power, which is much safer than fossil fuels. We fight for the scrapping of Trident and all nuclear weapons, internationally. Without the siphoning-off of by-products from power stations to make these abhorrent weapons, nuclear power could be even more efficient.

§2C.13 Our support for nuclear is not unconditional. Nuclear fuel is finite; nuclear power bears its own risks; and it would be possible to construct a future power infrastructure without nuclear energy. In many cases, internationally, other energy sources are more appropriate. We support it as a stopgap measure in the medium term.

§2C.14 Energy generation projects are not necessarily better for being “local”. Large, integrated electrical systems are generally more efficient.

§2C.15 In the energy sector, as in others, we champion a transition organised on the basis of worker planning, and in particular the retraining of workers from polluting or obsolete roles into socially-useful jobs.

§2C.16 We advocate public programmes of insulation, electrification of cooking, and electrified large-scale heating systems.

§2C.17 We support a moratorium on airport expansion, advocating an expansion of high-speed, affordable, electrified and efficient rail, and policies to radically reduce flights. We support increased taxation on flights and phasing-out of short-haul flights where there are less-polluting alternatives, with flights rationed on the basis of need.

§2C.18 We seek an expansion of local free or low-cost good-quality electrical and efficient public transport, and policies to support cycling and walking. Alongside this, we advocate a public programme to - where workable - retrofit cars with electric or hydrogen engines, or to recycle them; and collectivise greener cars into car-rental schemes.

§2C.19 Many changes to the food industry would reduce its negative environmental impact, while enabling nutritionally good, diverse and enjoyable diets. We support the application of science and technology to food production, and increased output per unit land and per unit human labour is, all else being equal, a good thing. We do not fetishise ahistorical notions of "natural" food production or "traditional" agricultural lifestyles, nor do we oppose synthetic chemicals in themselves. However, substantial use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and intensive monoculture, generally have harmful environmental effects, such as air and water pollution, soil degradation, and damaging surrounding ecosystems through excessive nutrient levels or through pesticide poisoning. We support crop rotation and scientific methods to enable more sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture.

The first sentence of §2C.20, in italics, was referred back to the coming National Committee for further discussion, rather than being voted on straight away:

§2C.20 Crucially, too, we advocate the phasing out of almost all animal products (with the added benefit of reducing the needless extreme suffering of billions of sentient beings). Animal based food production is more energy- and land-intensive and so has a higher environmental impact than directly plant-based food production, which would also free up substantial land for carbon sequestration through tree-planting. We advocate seriously funded research and development into substitute foods to facilitate a society-wide transition. Genetic engineering is in itself not problematic, and genetic engineering of low-emissions substitute foods is positive.

§2C.21 “Geoengineering” is advocated as a future technical fix to problems which are better solved politically. Most proposals have horrendous side effects, typically for areas in the global south. Global weather patterns and ecosystems are so complex that it would cause unintended consequences.

§2C.22 We demand huge public investment in an ambitious programme of ecological restoration - and mass tree planting - to increase biodiversity and natural carbon sequestration. Internationally, we should aim for over one trillion - that is, one million million - native saplings to be planted, covering over one tenth the world's land area, which could remove hundreds of billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.

§2C.23 The fight against climate change can only be won internationally.

§2C.24 We stand in solidarity with workers and movements fighting their hard-right governments in Brazil, China, India, the USA, and elsewhere. This solidarity is crucial in the fight against climate change, given the alarming policies pursued by these governments for the environment.

§2C.25 Climate crises will create hundreds of millions more climate refugees. Anti-migrant politics will be stoked by climate-driven movements of people. We advocate freedom of movement and equal rights for migrants as the only alternative to a hell of borders.

§2C.26 We stand for socialism, internationally, and international co-operation to halt climate change. As well as expropriating the wealth of the ruling classes, and taking collective control of it, in every society, we advocate a huge redistribution of wealth from the richest to the poorest countries. Wealth from the global north can help societies in the global south develop to support a high quality of life on a low-emissions, environmentally-friendly basis.

§2C.27 We recognise that no movement currently exists to make this a reality in the imminent future. Work towards these aims should not be postponed until the point at which workers' governments, let alone socialism, are more immediately viable. International action against climate change is important both because we need low net global emissions and because international co-operation can help this aim. We do not have faith in the current international and inter-governmental institutions to bring about the needed changes, nor do we look to them as the agents of such change. Nonetheless, we do not oppose such measures, and we criticise them for their limitations. For example, we highlight the insufficiency of the Paris climate accords, we oppose the USA's withdrawal from them, but do not see the solution to climate change as beefed-up Paris accords.

§2C.28 This programme entails class struggle. An adequate programme to curb climate change and preserve civilised conditions contains many elements that are not acceptable to the bourgeoisie. The “labour lieutenants of capital” in the union and Labour bureaucracies are already fighting to keep such an adequate programme from their masters’ doors.

3. The situation today and what to do

3A. The landscape

§3A.1 Climate change has already caused or exacerbated droughts and heatwaves, storms and hurricanes, sea level rise and displacement, crop failure and spread of diseases, all around the world. Tens of thousands of people are already killed by the effects of climate change every year, if not more. Environmental threats are already fuelling and heightening conflicts. Every year, of the last few, tens of millions of people have been displaced by weather-related “natural” disasters, which have tripled – in reported statistics at least – since the 1960s. Most of these are “internally displaced” within the same state, but many become (international) refugees.

§3A.2 Global and local inequalities, underdevelopment, and competing capitalist states are the backdrop to climatic disasters and responsible for the severity of their effects.

§3A.3 Awareness and concern are increasing across the global north, and beyond, and we are witnessing a renewed “wave” of climate activism. Strong words around anthropogenic climate change have become widespread amongst politicians.

§3A.4 The official advice on the UK’s emissions reductions, published by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in May 2019 argued for a target of net zero emissions by 2050, noting that the government was already failing on existing targets. The UK government legislated for a 2050 net zero target, but without concrete policies that would make it possible to meet this target.

§3A.5 Labour movement bodies and trade unions have, for the most part, advocated comparatively bold programmes to tackle climate change, with more of a class dimension. But this has only translated into very limited real-world action, and reactionary sectional attitudes are alive and well. See, for example, the stances of Unite and GMB on airport expansion and fracking, their successful pushes to enshrine energy union sectionalism in policy, and GMB’s opposition to a 2030 or even 2050 net zero target.

3B. Labour

§3B.1 The left-wing surge within Labour over since the election of Corbyn as leader has created openings for socialist environmentalism.

§3B.2 Labour’s 2017 manifesto, and 2018 Green transformation documents were steps forward from previous policy. To render Labour’s policy adequate, the membership will have to assert itself against the leadership and break with Blair-style office-led policy development.

§3B.3 The policy itself was seriously insufficient, even by the standards of the broader labour movement: quantitatively, in money committed, qualitatively, in challenging rule of capital in key industries.

§3B.4 For example, while it called for nationalising energy transmission and distribution, the market dominating energy generation was to be left intact, but with state-supported alternatives competing within it. It had no serious working-class orientation, other than vague token commitments to work with unions.

§3B.5 “Labour for a Green New Deal” (LGND) is currently the most prominent environmental tendency within Labour. Its existence raises the profile of the idea of a progressive environmental programme. Where Labour had implicitly committed to net zero by 2050, with only 60% low carbon or renewable energy within 12 years, LGND pushed for “zero carbon emissions by 2030 and a rapid phasing out of fossil fuels”. LGND also advocate “[s]upporting developing countries’ climate transitions by increasing transfers of finance, technology and capacity;” and “[w]elcoming climate refugees”.

§3B.6 LGND is a Momentum-supported initiative, and has the character of a “loyal opposition”. Its policies are a more ambitious version of Labour’s: a “state-led” (not worker-led) transition, again lacking concrete policies. It has no democratic structures and is run by a small and opaque group of self-appointed “directors”, nationally. (After Labour conference, there have been moves to set up local LGND groups, or at least WhatsApp groups.) These directors’ strategy revolves around diplomacy with a fundamentally hostile bureaucracy – diplomacy which will tend to require them to discipline their supporters and liquidate their programme.

§3B.7 The “Socialist Green New Deal” motion, promoted through the Clarion and passed by the FBU, marked a start in bringing concrete class politics into the Green New Deal.

§3B.8 Our activists got a workers-led “just transition”, repeal of anti-union laws, a fracking ban, socialisation of and investment in energy production and transport, and more, into the patchy policy passed by Labour Conference 2019. However, socialisation of finance and a ban on airport expansion were not included in either of the two composites taken and passed; and the Conference Arrangements Committee prevented conference from discussing and voting on these issues by binning a third motion after it agreed it would be taken.

§3B.9 The 2030 target, which LGND regarded as the main prize at conference, suffered from compromise. It survived compositing in a tentative, watered-down form.

§3B.10 Whatever its political weaknesses, Labour for a Green New Deal marks the best attempt at injecting discussions around a specific political programme into the broader radical environmental milieu, from XR to the Climate Strikes. Its programmatic approach marks a step forward for the movement. We will work with LGND wherever possible and assist in the development of local LGND groups, while trying to push for a better programme, a better and less sectarian democratic culture, and a more uncompromising attitude towards the labour movement bureaucracy. The fight to get conference policy into the Manifesto marks a first step here.

§3B.11 Momentum’s own “Bankrupt Climate Change” campaign was very politically limited, and seems to have been retired. SERA, Labour’s oldest environmental campaign, is run like an NGO or think-tank and is politically very conservative, siding with the GMB against LGND at Labour conference.

§3B.12 Red Green Labour is a small initiative, associated with Socialist Resistance and established in early 2018. It is a loose organisation or network, generally to the left of the previously mentioned campaigns. It has an insufficiently combative attitude towards the leadership of Labour and the trade unions. It aims to intervene within SERA. We will keep an eye on its developments, and work with it where appropriate. However, due to its small size, seriously intervening in it is not a priority.

§3B.13 We seek to win a broad section of our class to a radical environmental programme. We will continue and increase our agitation and organisation around environmental transitional demands. We will use the sections of the policy passed at Labour conference as a springboard for promoting a radical, socialist Green New Deal. In particular, the sections that were inserted by the SGND motion, the lines on internationalism and refugees from LGND, and the additional policy passed on fracking, car scrapping, and ecological restoration.

§3B.14 Additionally, we continue to argue for the necessity of, expropriating finance, and ending airport expansion, and fleshing out a socialist, working-class internationalist environmentalism. These will be a core part of the programme of environmental transitional demands that we agitate for immediately.

§3B.15 We have a particular history and tradition of international solidarity, which we should bring into environmental activism, standing in solidarity with workers and activists fighting environmentally destructive regimes elsewhere. We will also draw links, in both directions, between environmental crises and migrants’ rights.

§3B.16 We continue to argue for a rational non-conspiratorial approach to nuclear energy and a proportionate assessment of its pros and cons. We call for it to be part of, or a potential part of a low-GHG emissions energy mix. However, immediately, we do not treat it as a necessary and central part of a socialist environmentalist programme.

§3B.17 To fight for this minimum SGND programme and beyond, we will seek, with others, to develop a campaign with independent life and democratic structures, with one foot in the Labour party and one foot in the unions - including non-affiliated unions. We’ll pursue such a campaign with assertive united front tactics.

3C. Trade Unions

§3C.1 On paper, almost all trade unions recognise climate change as a grave danger, and demand state action to combat it, with workers having a role in ‘a just transition’. For the most part, the policies are close to those, of the “One Million Climate Jobs” (OMCJ) by the “Campaign Against Climate Change” (CACC), from most of a decade ago.

§3C.2 CACC often functions to “outsource” climate activism from the labour movement itself.

§3C.3 Some unions, and the TUC, have policy supporting youth climate strikers, and called for 30 minute stoppages on the 20 September. We want to make union support for the climate strikes real, and see grass-roots union activists bring delegations of workers to climate protests, or hold their own, following the model of Salford refuse workers and the “Workers’ Climate Action” initiative carried out by our comrades in Cambridge.

§3C.4 We will work with colleagues to formulate and agitate for environmental changes that could be made at work, environmental demands that can be made of our bosses. We contextualise these and keep them in proportion, chiefly through organising around a wider SGND programme.

§3C.5 To this end we will become or engage with workplace environmental reps, and networks of environmental reps.

§3C.6 TUC congress 2019 resolved “to campaign for national and regional Just Transition Commissions including full union and education representation to develop, monitor and implement the process.”

§3C.7 We want to make such Just Transition Commissions real at the level of industry and local government. We advocate representative, activist bodies made up of workers’ representatives which make their business the property of local communities and the broad labour movement.

§3C.8 We seek to nourish the embryos and cohere a network of workplace environmentalists, to fight for independent working-class environmentalism in workplaces and the labour movement.

3D. Environmental movement: a new “wave”, two “poles”

§3D.1 After the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, a big wave of climate struggles in the UK petered out. Big ecological struggles have gone on around the world in the intervening ten years and NGOs have organised fair-sized demonstrations. But ecological struggle has returned to the UK on a mass scale only in the last 18 months or so.

§3D.2 Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Strikes could broadly be described as the two “poles” of the new “wave” of climate protest. XR, for all its vitality and all the self sacrifice of many of its activists, represents a survival of the middle-class minority-heroism school of ecological activism. The Climate Strikes are centred around the idea of mass involvement, and hint at the solution that is really needed: mass workers’ action. So far worker participation in these strikes has been very limited. But we think that the radical potential of the Climate Strikes far outstrips that of any other contemporary or recent form of ecological protest. We want to realise that radical potential and build a strategy that centres on spreading, deepening and radicalising the Climate Strikes.

§3D.3 Extinction Rebellion (XR) has massively helped to raise the urgency of tackling climate change, and of courageous and audacious actions against it. It has drawn in many thousands of people into environmental activism, many politically active for the first time. Beyond those drawn into it already, many look to it as the climate movement.

§3D.4 The dominant (even, defining) XR strategy relies on a middle class pattern of heroic individuals getting arrested. The dominant strand of politics in XR erases class dynamics in society, speaking of being “beyond politics” and advocating “citizens’ assemblies” drawn by lot. XR presents no genuine political programme which a government could agree to implement, or not. They also have and perpetuate an incredibly benign attitude towards the police.

§3D.5 XR is, however, open, and tremendously diverse socially and politically. We will engage with XR actions and local groups, make the case for class-struggle environmentalist strategies for these groups and to individuals engaging in those groups. It is possible to create local or even national Extinction Rebellion “affinity groups”. It may – or may not – be worth establishing such groups as part of an intervention.

§3D.6 Youth climate strikes are the other major aspect of the resurgent environmental movement. UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), the main associated organisation in the UK, has substantial left-wing currents within it and its leadership, and some democracy. They - and Greta Thunberg - the international “leader” of the youth strikes, have pointed out the need for workers, for trade unionists, to take action on the environment. UKSCN advocate a form of “Green New Deal”.We will continue engaged with it in local areas and campuses; through Student Left Network and their Icecap zine about climate change, class struggle, and the student movement; and through activists we know in the leadership of UKSCN.

§3D.7 We want to help the Climate Strikes develop two crucial elements: a clear programme, and mass workplace participation.

§3D.8 That means, on the one hand, developing a political culture democratic forums within which a programme could be debated and agreed; and on the other, breaking through the token participation of left wing trade union officers and organising real and direct workplace agitation to bring groups of workers out as conscious, leading participants in Climate Strikes.

§3D.9 Where organised groups of workers have really participated in the Climate Strikes, as in Cambridge, Salford or Lambeth, we will trumpet their example and seek to extend it. Where well-meaning trade union officers propose inadequate activity, we will help make it adequate; where green-washing bosses allow (or oblige) their employees to participate in Climate Strikes, we will seek to organise the latter against the former.

§3D.10 In universities, we strive to build student walk-outs, engaging with staff, with other workers in nearby workplaces, and with youth strikers across their town or city.

§3D.11 Divestment campaigns have been the dominant environmental activism on university campuses for some time. We support them while critiquing their limitations and pushing for more radical politics. These often associate with People and Planet, a left-wing campaigning organisation which lacks any democratic structures.

§3D.12 Reclaim the Power is in many ways the successor to the Climate Camps. Its politics are more explicitly anti-capitalist and pro-migrant. Its politics are anarchist-influenced, and lack serious orientation to the working-class. Its response to the revived climate movement has been largely aloof and sectarian and RtP has failed to lead.

§3D.13 We will continue to engage with it, advocating for it to turn outwards to win a wider audience, and to pursue class politics.

§3D.14 Green Anti-capitalist Front is a new and small initiative, largely an alliance between ultra-left anarchists and Stalinists, who engage in and around XR, Youth Strikes, RtP and the like. We work with it where we come across it but make no extra efforts beyond that.

3E. The revolutionary left

§3E.1 On much of the anarchist and would-be Trotskyist left, radical “mood music” (“system change not climate change”; “one solution: revolution”; “socialism is the answer”) drowns out the “words” of coherent programme. The result is vagueness from the left which allows labour opportunists to get away with programmatic murder – as with the story of Labour Green New Deal.

§3E.2 Likewise, abstract recognition of the links between capitalism and climate change, for some would-be revolutionaries, fails to progress to the next logical step: the centrality of the working class in combating it. “Movementist”, popular-frontist, and statist approaches to fighting climate change are, combined, more common amongst would-be revolutionaries than independent working-class approaches.

§3E.3 The SWP, to their credit, have organised debates in the labour movement about how to support Climate Strikes, and have thrown many of their trade union cadres into that work (such as the CCCTU). But their efforts on the industrial front have been inadequate and superficial. Politically, they are the same SWP: controlling, sectarian, covering opportunistic lack of programme with “revolutionary” sloganeering. As events develop, they will become a hindrance to the democratic debate, programmatic clarity, and effective workplace organising which we advocate.

3F Our tradition, perspectives, activism

§3F.1 There are rich traditions of both working-class environmental action, and Marxist environmental thought, that we seek to uncover, and build upon.

§3F.2 We set up and ran Workers’ Climate Action (WCA), over the period of the last major upsurge in climate activism, 2006-11. WCA aimed to bring radical class-struggle environmentalism into environmental movement and the labour movement: intervening in the “Climate Camp” movement across that period; engaging with Kingsnorth power station workers from a nearby Climate Camp; standing in solidarity striking aviation workers and raising environmental dimensions; initiating and stoking agitation against the closing of Vestas wind turbine factory, culminating in an occupation of the factory against its shutdown - demanding its nationalisation by the Labour government.

§3F.3 The Vestas struggle, in particular, represents the pinnacle of WCA’s struggle, and a part in which we were central. It is replete with lessons for today, and documented in our pamphlet on the topic.

§3F.4 With the downturn in the climate movement, we let climate politics slip too far from focus for some years. Around the beginning of 2017, our student fraction initiated the “Nationalise the Big Six!” (NtB6) campaign. As well as labour movement, Labour party and environmental movement oriented propaganda and petitions, NtB6 organised delegations to anti-coal and anti-fracking protests, and a Climate Camp in Germany. The campaign fizzled out due to insufficient central resources.

§3F.5 From 2018 we increased our focus on climate change again, in our publications, events, and activities.

§3F.6 All our members should - and hopefully do - see class-struggle socialist environmentalism as a crucial part of our, and their, work. To aid increased climate activism, we have started convening an AWL climate committee.

§3F.7 As a cornerstone of our politics, we integrate our class-struggle environmentalism into many of our other areas of struggle: the fights for free trade unions and working-class control of industries; for internationalism and against Brexit; for free movement and migrants' rights; for socialism more generally.

§3F.8 As well as the interventions and activity described so far in this document, we will promote class-struggle environmentalism through our publications and meetings. We will organise a day school on the topic in early 2020. Members and supporters should read or re-read the latest edition of our climate pamphlet, “For workers' action on climate change”, from late 2018, replenish their stocks, and then discharge them again.

4. Summary of resolves of climate document

§4A. We will seek with others to develop a socialist Green New Deal campaign, with independent life, which fights within both unions and the Labour Party, and works with "Labour for a Green New Deal". See especially §3B.10-17

§4B. We work for real union support for Climate Strikes: for grass-roots union activists to bring delegations of workers to climate protests, or to hold their own. See especially §3C.3, §3D.9-11

§4C. We want youth climate strikers to work with workplace activists to build a clear programme and mass workplace participation. We support youth strikers, and agitate for this perspective, in local areas and campuses; through the Student Left Network; and through activists in the leadership of UKSCN. See especially §3D.6-11

§4D. We work to build struggles around workplace environmental demands, including on campuses; to link these up; and to contextualise them within a wider socialist Green New Deal programme. See especially §3C.4-8

§4E. We see environmental activism as a crucial part of our work, integrate it into our other areas of struggle, and will continue to convene a Workers' Liberty environmental committee. We will promote our perspectives on class-struggle environmentalism through our future publications, sales of our existing booklets, meetings, and a day-school. See especially §3F.6-7

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