Naomi Klein: radical action needed to tackle climate change
There were so many ideas to take away from Naomi Klein’s inspiring address to a meeting of trade unionists at Congress House on Tuesday night. She highlighted how the neo-liberal agenda has placed us in a position where only radical action will provide any hope of keeping to the 2 degree limit in global temperature rise.
The TUC meeting coincided with the International Day for Decent Work. It was one of a number of trade union events around the world where social justice at work was linked with the fight for climate justice.
Naomi argued that a sharp reduction of CO2 emissions of between 8-10% a year is needed but the current market system is incapable of delivering this system change.
Building a movement from below is the only way to generate the political will to make the changes needed to the economic system. Naomi spoke of the recent mobilisations around the UN Climate summit in New York when 300,000 took to the streets. For an excellent film on how this was done and the link with the science of climate change see Climate Change: Disruption.
The role of the education sector was discussed and Naomi referred to the fossil free campaign being run at Glasgow University. Today we found out that this has been successful and the university is the first in the UK to agree to divest out of the fossil fuel industry. A great victory and congratulations to People & Planet and everyone involved.
Naomi welcomed the publication of the 1 million climate jobs pamphlet which illustrates the way that action on climate can be linked to the struggle for decent jobs.
The meeting will hopefully inspire unions to re-double their efforts to place climate and social justice at the heart of what we do. One way to start this is to support the call made by Owen Jones, who chaired the Central Hall event, for a climate bloc on the TUC’s Britain Needs A Pay Rise demonstration on 18 October. Putting the positive alternatives to austerity is the only way to build a strong climate movement in the UK.