Environment

The Workers’ Party recognises that global warming, brought about by man-made increases in greenhouse gases, is real and is destabilising the world’s climate with disastrous effects for most species on the planet and humanity itself.

Changes in the world’s climate will mean more extreme weather events, including hotter and drier summers, flooding and rising sea-levels leading to coastal realignment.  Other severe environmental issues include contamination of the air and surface waters with industrial pollutants.

The ‘carbon footprint’ of wealthy states and households is proportionally greater than poorer states and households. The system of global capitalism, which puts profit and expansion above all other concerns, is fundamentally responsible for our environmental problems.

Environmentally sustainable capitalism is a contradiction in terms and, given the scale and complexity of the issues, technology is unlikely to provide all the answers. Only a society which puts human and environmental needs above those of profit can begin to deal with the serious problems we and our grandchildren will face.

The Workers’ Party believes that the outcome of the recent world climate summit in Paris, while welcome, is not sufficient to deal with the crisis of climate change.

The Workers’ Party supports lessening our dependence on fossil fuels through the development of wind generators, solar panels and other forms of renewable energy.

The Workers’ Party believes that the conversion by large multinational firms of large tracts of arable land, especially in developing countries, away from food production towards crops for bio-fuel production is largely a regressive step and is not the solution to our fossil fuel dependence.

We urge close cooperation and consultation with local communities to minimise opposition to the erection of wind farms in localities. Co-operatives and ventures involving many stakeholders ought to be established to maximise the potential of renewable energy sources.

The Workers’ Party is totally opposed to fracking. Fracking is a highly dangerous process with serious short-term and long-term consequences for the environment.

Our planning process must be strengthened so that the highly destructive speculator-driven developments and rezonings which have characterised recent decades cannot re-occur.

The ratification of the TTIP or CETA treaties by the EU would be hugely environmentally destructive as they would relegate environmental or consumer concerns into second place behind the need for corporate profit.