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Climate Change



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Issue #1886      September 18, 2019

CPA policy on climate change

The Communist Party of Australia’s program on the environment states:

[The] Destruction of the environment is a crime against humanity. Protection of the environment must be a primary struggle of the working class and all people.

Today, the struggle for sustainable development is in essence a struggle to restrain and restrict capitalist corporations and to compel an end to environmentally damaging production processes. It is a struggle to fulfil human needs through more creative, democratic and ecologically respectful practices. The contrast with uncontrollable capitalist growth and exploitation of natural resources for profit is stark. […]

Australia has some of the world’s best capacity for renewable energy – solar, wind, wave and geothermal. There are no technical barriers to moving to 100 percent renewable energy but this is blocked by corporations that profit from polluting industries. The CPA remains committed to opposing nuclear generated power.

In line with these corporate interests, state and federal Liberal governments have rejected the promotion of renewable energy sources in favour of expansion of coal mining and large-scale development of gas. However, coal seam gas extraction does grave environmental damage such as poisoning ground and surface water aquifers and destroying agricultural land. Energy from gas is a substantial greenhouse gas polluter.

The parliamentary political force that has consistently opposed the expansion of coal mining and coal seam gas extraction and promotes the development of sustainable renewable energy sources is the Australian Greens. They, however, do not offer a satisfactory solution for workers in these industries. The CPA advocates that mining and resource jobs should be protected and converted into areas of environmental sustainability on no loss of pay.

Polluting corporations are working with governments to avoid regulations that may compromise their profits and challenge the economic system that created the environmental crisis in the first place. […]

It is crucial that the working class becomes involved in the struggle to save the planet from environmental catastrophe. Workers must be confident that protecting the environment is in their interest and the interest of their children and future generations. No worker must be worse off as a result of environmental protection measures.

In sharp contrast to the capitalist nations, socialist countries made huge attempts and advances in recent years to address environmental questions and support global measures to reverse global warming and other consequences of past practices. Cuba is a shining example in this regard.

To alleviate some of the worst features of the environmental crisis, the CPA advocates:

Nationalisation of Australia’s electricity generation, distribution and supply infrastructure.

Developing a national energy plan, with legislated targets, for transition to an ecologically sustainable energy system.

Massively investing in research and development of alternative renewable energy sources under public ownership.

Transfer of government subsidies from fossil and nuclear fuel sectors to energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transition programs.

Making energy efficiency and conservation key determinants of urban planning and central to government economic and industry policy.

Legislation and enforcement for efficiency and safety standards requiring motor vehicles, electrical appliances and power generating machinery, chemical processes including transportation, etc.

The provision of an expanded, nationalised public transport infrastructure. More frequent and more reliable public transport services that are publicly owned and operated, and new services to outer suburbs.

Extensive provisions of infrastructure to be developed for cyclists.

Reopening country and regional rail lines for freight and passenger services under public control.

Restoration of Australia’s water systems and provision of adequate safe drinking water for communities through coordinated national planning.

Phase out unsustainable water hungry industries such as cotton and rice-growing.

No provision of free potable water for mining processes.

Planning to be undertaken so that Australia will take responsibility and provide for environmental refugees driven from their homes by the effects of climate change or other environmental catastrophes.

Closing all uranium mines in Australia and cancelling contracts for the export of uranium.

Opposing the establishment of nuclear waste dumps in Australia.

Increasing research and development in energy and climate mitigation that can be used to stimulate underdeveloped economies in order to achieve a global equity of energy and resource use, and quality of life, in the course of achieving global sustainability.

Next article – Green imperialism or socialist solution to climate crisis

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