Below are major excerpts from a Feb. 23 statement approved by the International Committee of the Fourth International. The full statement appears at www.internationalviewpoint.org
Since the World Congress of the Fourth International in February 2010, the consequences of climate chaos have become even more obvious. The worst floods in history in Pakistan, an intense heat wave and burning forests in Russia, chaos in Australia, floods in Sri Lanka, heavy rains and mud flows in Brazil—the summer of 2010 witnessed a record number of disasters caused by human-made climate change, or rather, by the capitalist mode of production.
What is more, the victims of those disasters are mainly the poor, women, and indigenous people—as in Pakistan, Brazil, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and more largely in the countries of the South.
The enormous oil spill in the Mexican gulf, caused by the greed of BP, new plans for exploiting shale gas in the never stopping race for fossil fuels and profits, clearly show that we are facing a growing ecological crisis….
We are faced with the reappearance of the food crisis which erupted in 2007-2008. This has led to a new increase in food prices and financial speculation on raw materials. This is one of the many causes of the explosion of the revolts and revolutionary process in the Arab world.
We support the struggles of peasant movements and rural communities against agribusiness and GMOs, in defense of local seeds and agro-ecological farming. We also support movements involved in local food production and distribution, including food production in urban “food deserts” in the poor districts of cities in rich countries….
In 2009, greenhouse gas emissions amounted to a total of a little more the 48 billion tons. In order to keep global warming beneath the dangerous threshold of a 2°C rise, the peak of emissions must be reached in 2015 and emissions should diminish to 40-44 billion tons before 2020.
The climate plans of the developing countries are in line with the IPCC proposals but this is not the case for the rich developed countries! Japan, Russia, Canada are opposed to any extension of the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012.
The USA, which is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita, and whose emissions increased by 30% between 1990 and 2005, has not adopted any plan for reductions. The “energy package” of the European Union is totally insufficient and continues to rely on market mechanisms, the promotion of agrofuels and nuclear energy, and the privatization of tropical forests.
Against the logic of speculation, privatization, and commodification of food, we must counterpose another logic—namely the defense of food sovereignty, regaining control over agricultural and food policies, keeping access to natural resources (water, seeds, land), and fighting against the multinationals and the international institutions as well as the governments who are their accomplices. …
The members of the Fourth International will continue to work towards the building of a unitary mass campaign, together with the activists and the social movements, in the framework of the Climate and Social Justice campaign. This [is] in the perspective of the organization of counter-summits during the Durban (COP17) negotiations and at the summit of Rio 20+.
Only an ecosocialist and anti-capitalist alternative constitutes a real answer to this global crisis.
> This article was originally published in the March 2011 print edition of Socialist Action newspaper.