Socialist Worker

Build resistance after Tory climate cop outs

Issue No. 2690

An Extinction Rebellion mass march in London

An Extinction Rebellion mass march in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Boris Johnson has unveiled the Tories’ “strategy” in hosting the United Nations (UN) Cop 26 climate talks in November.

He said the government would bring forward the deadline for the phase-out of diesel and petrol cars to 2035. Even the new target is five years later than the final date the UN says we can avert the worse-case climate catastrophe.

Johnson also announced plans to encourage other countries to match his government’s promise to slash carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

And that’s two decades beyond the 2030 deadline.

Johnson is twiddling his thumbs and beset by Tory infighting.

Former Tory minister Claire O’Neill—who Johnson sacked as Cop 26 president last week—launched a stinging attack on the prime minister.

She said Britain was “miles off track” in meeting previous Cop agreements.

None of this will come as a surprise to anyone following the failures of governments to implement serious climate action.

The Cop talks in November aren’t irrelevant. It could see negotiators set more ambitious targets than the non-binding decisions reached at the Paris talks five years ago.

But vague assurances, slightly tweaked deadlines and replacing one Tory climate denier for another does nothing to address the reality of what we are facing.

Climate catastrophe is so dramatic it is already taking lives in the poorest parts of the globe.

Wakes 

The full nature of the crisis hasn’t been felt yet across Britain. But by the time 10 Downing Street wakes up—if it ever does—it will be too late.

Johnson has no intention of delivering the kind of action needed to deal with climate change. For him, profit comes before any other considerations.

The timescale for real action is months and years—not decades. We have to act now, and the prevarications of the climate deniers and delayers at the top of society doesn’t bring climate justice any closer.

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This battle is too urgent and too vital to play by their rules. It’s not only a question of life or death, but a matter of what kind of planet we are going to have left.

The school climate strikes movement and Extinction Rebellion mobilisations are important. They serve as an inspirational example of how movements can take on the rich and powerful.

Join the school strikes on the 14 February and the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in London on 22 February.

It’s important to march and fight for the planet.

It is crucial to be part of building the kind of mass resistance we need to fight for a habitable world. Johnson and his ilk have their power.

We build our own forces and take him on. Join the resistance.


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