Relaunch Labour’s Green New Deal

According to the World Health Organisation, the Covid-19 pandemic is still accelerating globally; infections have doubled in the past six weeks. This is another sharp reminder that today’s model of human society is no longer fit for purpose and is exposing us to ever more frequent and dangerous zoonotic pathogens.

Set against this sobering reality – and with a massive rise in unemployment looming as the furlough scheme is brought to a premature end – Sunak’s package is entirely inadequate.

Having created one of the highest death rates in the world – through levels of incompetence that only a bunch of reactionary nationalists (in this case little Englanders) can achieve – Johnson’s government has now panicked and is bribing people back to work and into pubs and restaurants in England before it is safe to do so in order to appease a terrified business community. This is a massive wager on a second major virus outbreak, and a massive gamble with people’s lives. A second major outbreak is predicted by the Academy of Medical Sciences this winter that could double the current death count.

Worse than that, it is taking Britain in exactly the wrong strategic direction. Far from using investment to bring about radical change towards a sustainable future, it is designed to do exactly the opposite: i.e. to use it sustain and rebuild exactly the same carbon-based, nature-destroying model of society that is at the root of the problem.

It is both a massive missed opportunity and an exercise in criminal negligence. Investment is indeed crucial. What we need, however, is massive investment to reshape society on a new and sustainable basis, not investment to sustain a failed and dangerous status quo.

Sunac’s stance has also widened the gap between the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament from Westminster and in Scotland has significantly strengthened support for independence.

The ecological content of the package is disastrous. Sunak’s decision to put 2 billion pounds into retrofitting the housing stock (and another billion into public buildings) is an important move but pathetic when set against the scale of the problem. It falls well short of Johnson’s empty blustering rhetoric, and also of the Tory Party manifesto. It offers nothing to those in social housing other than the government will further consult on it and make an announcement at a later date. The real indicator of the direction of travel of the government can be seen in its proposed expenditure on ‘upgrading’ the road network.

Tragically, it also comes at a time when opportunities were opening up with a growing public demand for investment in a green recovery. A recent YouGov poll for the Guardian showed that just 6 per cent of the public want a return to the old pre-pandemic model of the economy. The rest want the lessons of the pandemic to be learned and for real change to be put in place.

Even the government backed citizen’s assembly meeting in Birmingham recently, said the measures taken by the government to help the economic recovery from Covid-19 should be designed to encourage lifestyle changes to cut emissions. The “Build Back Better” campaign launched by organisations such as Green New Deal UK, Greenpeace and the New Economics Foundation, has also attracted wide support.

The pandemic itself has pointed towards what is possible. Since the lockdown, air pollution has improved and carbon emissions have fallen. Nature is re-colonising habitats that were dead prior to the lockdown. Global emissions have reduced by a record amount, though still inadequately since fossil fuel remains the main energy source. To throw all this away would also be criminal negligence.

There is a big international push now to get aviation back into the air at pre-pandemic levels. This would be a disaster. We have to demand that the cost of flying is increased. Airport expansion must be halted and all subsidies to the industry ended. The zero tax rating on aviation fuel should come to an end and a frequent flyers tax introduced. Internal short-haul flights should be banned and both internal and international rail services improved as a replacement.

Labour’s response

Labour’s response to the crisis should be clear enough. It should be to relaunch and build on its impressive Green New Deal as agreed at last year’s LP conference. This was the one of the most comprehensive ecological proposals ever put by a major political party challenging for office – and one which was denounced by the Tories at the time as recklessly profligate.

This was reflected in the 2019 election manifesto including with the proposal of a £400 billion National Transformation Fund:

‘We will launch a National Transformation Fund of £400 billion and rewrite the Treasury’s investment rules to guarantee that every penny spent is compatible with our climate and environmental target... Of this, £250 billion will directly fund the transition through a Green Transformation Fund dedicated to renewable and low-carbon energy and transport, biodiversity and environmental restoration.’

It pledged to kick-start a green industrial revolution that would create a million climate jobs in energy, transport, agriculture, buildings and in restoring nature. It pledged, for example, to retrofit all of Britain’s 27 million homes by 2030, creating large numbers well-paid green jobs on union rates and conditions.

On energy it committed: “to put Britain on track for a net zero carbon energy system within the 2030s”. (This was a retreat from the Labour Party conference more definitive resolution of zero carbon by 2030, but it is far superior to anything the Tories are proposing. It also included nuclear energy which is also controversial).

On a ‘just transition’ and workers transitioning from fossil based to green jobs it pledges to: ‘support energy workers through the transition and guarantee them retraining and a new, unionised job on equivalent terms and conditions’.

On public ownership it pledged to: “... put people and planet before profit by bringing our energy and water systems into democratic public ownership. In public hands, energy and water will be treated as rights rather than commodities, with any surplus reinvested or used to reduce bills. Communities themselves will decide, because utilities won’t be run from Whitehall but by service-users and workers.”

This legacy, like many of the other gains of Corbyn’s leadership, is even more relevant today. The left in the party need to step the fight for these policies, building stronger links with those outside whether already organised in groups like XR or newly radicalising through the experience of the pandemic.

Starmer’s victory

There is a problem, however – and it’s a big one. It is clear that Keir Starmer is going in the opposite direction. He has moved Labour overall sharply to the right and let Johnson off the hook with his managerial approach, lack of vision and class content, and his ‘we are a constructive opposition’ mantra. This has allowed Johnson to undermine him by saying that he can’t make his mind up whether he is for the government or against it. He has also set up Labour for the Armed Forces to appeal to English nationalism.

On the environment he has clearly signalled that he will not support 2030 as any kind of zero-carbon target. He has given the climate change brief to Ed Miliband and sacked Rebecca Long Bailey, the main architect of the Green New Deal on trumped up charges of antisemitism.

Even if this has some electoral advantages for him short term, it is, in the end, a road back towards the dead-end consensus politics that dominated the political reality for so long and has been a disaster for both people and planet.

The left must organise

Red Green Labour, hopefully alongside Labour for a Green New Deal, needs to launch a campaign inside the Party for the re-launch Labour’s Green New Deal, with a clear demand for zero carbon by 2030 reinstated, both as the centre piece of our approach to the climate crisis and of our campaign towards COP26 in Glasgow.

At the same time any Labour GND must demand that the rich countries have to provide adequate funding and resources to the poorer countries of the Global South that are hardest hit by climate change. These countries, which cause the least pollution, are suffering prolonged droughts and flooding leading to many deaths and the displacement of thousands of people. Meanwhile, the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on malnourished populations are particularly devastating.

Labour’s Green New Deal as expressed both at the Labour Party conference and in the manifesto must be defended. Those proposals were the product not only of the increasing severity of the crisis itself but of the new level of struggle to defend the planet led by Greta Thunberg the inspirational school strikers and the spectacular XR protests. They represented a remarkable step-change in the response to the environmental crisis at governmental level.

And beyond the documents themselves, there were and continue to be broader political discussions. RGL sponsors in different parts of Britain engaged in discussions about the need to tackle the whole question of growth – so often trotted out by people in the Labour Party and the trade unions as a key goal for our movement. Others are involved in elaborating local plans for zero carbon by 2030. Some of us have looked at bringing together the call for Green jobs ie those that replace the use of fossil fuels with those that reduce our carbon output with one for Purple jobs. This latter term is used by many socialist feminists to describe jobs in services such as health, care and education – essential jobs as this pandemic has underlined, and which are traditionally seen as ‘women’s work’. Bringing such jobs back into the public sector, fighting for trade union recognition decent pay and conditions and services receptive to the needs of local community also needs to be part of an ecosocialist vision for the future. . 

It would be a disaster, for example, if industrialised agriculture, meat production in particular, was to continue in the old way. It is not only generating zoonotic viruses that threaten all our lives, but it is ramping up climate change through ever increasing methane generation, polluting the oceans through agricultural runoffs, and is a massive contributor to deforestation and the extinction of species.

It would be a disaster if all this was lost with the return of some kind of ‘normality’. We have to insist that there is no return to past levels of pollution and that ‘post-pandemic’ investment will be used to build for a zero-carbon sustainable future.

Green New Deals must push the boundaries

Green New Deals (GNDs), of various kinds, are increasingly a feature of the global climate and ecological struggle. They are not new but today they have greater significance, writes Alan Thornett. The most important such deal to-date is one submitted to the US Congress – entitled ‘Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal’ – by the new Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York, along with the veteran Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts. The proposal originated with the Sunrise Movement – a group of environmentally motivated young people in the Democratic Party – and adopted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (also known as AOC). In Canada a ‘Pact for a Green New Deal’ has been launched and is getting wide support. There are calls for a European-wide GND and an Australian GND. In the British Labour Party a campaign for the adoption of a GND at its forthcoming conference has gained mass support and is likely be adopted though possibly in an amended form. These initiatives are a response to the frightening pace of ecological destruction. As I write the Brazilian rain forest, the lungs of the world, its greatest a biodiversity treasure house, and is the home of indigenous peoples, is in flames. Climate records are broken at ever greater regularity. Crucial resources are running out, including fresh water and arable land. Pollution is choking the eco-systems of the planet. The oceans are now 30 per cent more acidic than in pre-industrial times. Coral reefs are dying off at an unprecedented rate. There will soon be more plastic in the oceans than fish and species are becoming extinct at a disastrous rate. They are also a response to increasing public awareness of the ecological issues and new developments in the struggle itself, in particular the emergence of the Greta Thunberg and the (inspirational) international school students strikes she has generated, and of Extinction Rebellion, a none-violent direct-action movement that has placed the biodiversity crisis at the heart of its activities. The AOC Deal in the US The AOC Deal – or more precisely ‘Resolution’ because it is in the form of a resolution to Congress – has added significance because of its location in the USA, where it is a beacon of hope in the bleakest landscapes. A stark alternative to the ecocide emanating from a White House that presides over ever rising US carbon emissions whilst rolling back climate regulations enacted by the Obama administration. The Resolution has already redrawn the boundaries of the debate on the ecological crisis in the USA, prompting Trump (unsurprisingly) has branded as ‘socialist and therefore un-American’. The Resolution was publicly launched it in Washington in February with the support of 60 members of the House, nine Senators, and several presidential candidates. The headline message stressed at the meeting was to make the USA “net carbon-neutral in ten years”, which would require huge strides in reducing the USA’s reliance on oil, gas and coal and its replacement by clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources. Its first point of principle is that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming over the past century, causing the sea level to rise, more severe wildfires and storms, droughts, and other extreme weather events that threaten human life, healthy communities, and national infrastructure. Its second is (crucially) that global warming above 1.5°C pre-industrial level will have catastrophic consequences. The result, it says, will be mass migration driven by climate change. Wildfires, by 2050, will burn twice as much forest area in the Western United States than was burned in the years preceding 2019. Ninety nine percent of all coral reefs on Earth will be lost. More than 350,000,000 extra people will be exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050. There is a risk of $1,000,000,000,000 damage to public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the United States. These principles directly reflect the conclusions of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming, published in October last year. It was compiled by climate scientists from around the world following the failure of the Paris climate summit to fully adopt 1.5°C concluded that the previous UN target of 2°C above preindustrial levels is indeed now out of date and should be superseded by a new maximum of a 1.5°C increase – after which key elements of the crisis start to run out of control. Cutting carbon emissions The Resolution makes a number of proposals in terms of cutting carbon emissions including the following: • Meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources; • To achieve zero Green House Gas (GHG) emissions through fair and just transition for all communities and workers. • Building or upgrading to energy-efficient, distributed, and ‘‘smart’’ power grids, and working to ensure affordable access to electricity; • Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency; • Working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector; • Overhauling transportation systems to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; with clean, affordable, and accessible public transport. • Removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, including by restoring natural ecosystems and low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, and afforestation. • Restoring fragile ecosystems through locally appropriate and science-based projects that enhance biodiversity and support climate resiliency. It also recognises that a reorganisation of the economy and of society on this scale would represent a historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone. It goes on to call on the Federal Government to make green technology, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries bringing about a global GND. Bernie Sanders The Resolution has already had an impact on next year’s presidential election campaign. Bernie Sanders, for example, who was the first presidential candidate to support the OAC Resolution, recently put forward his own ecological platform, which he sees as complementary it. He launched recently, and poignantly, whilst visiting the town of Paradise, California, the home to 26,000 people that was completely destroyed in December last year by the deadliest wildfire in the history of the state that was driven by climate change. Sanders called for the creation of 20 million clean energy jobs and $16.3 trillion in green federal investment. He called for the decarbonisation of transportation and power generation, the two largest sources of emissions in the United States, by 2030, which would lower US emissions by 71 percent. His plan, he said, would raise money from numerous sources including: $6.4 trillion from selling energy via power marketing authorities; $2.3 trillion from income taxes from the new jobs created under the plan, and $1.2 trillion from reducing the military expenses related to protecting oil shipping routes. Expenditure would include: • $40 billion for a climate justice resiliency fund for under-resourced groups like Native Americans, people with disabilities, and the elderly to prepare for climate change • $200 billion for the United Nations Green Climate Fund to help other countries reduce their emissions • $1.52 trillion to deploy renewable energy and $852 billion for energy storage • $526 billion for an underground high-voltage direct current power transmission network The controversies Crucial as the 1.5°C target is it is still far from universally accepted even on the left. The British Labour Party, for example, despite having greatly strengthened its overall ecological profile under the Corbyn leadership, has still not accepted it as its official position. When Red-Green Labour activists proposed its adoption at the AGM of SERA, Labour’s environmental section, last November, we lost the vote the 1.5°C. John McDonnell, however, in an interview in the Independent on June 13th this year said that Labour was strongly considering adopting the 1.5°C target ‘ in order to respond to the science’. The strength of the Labour Party GND, which is heading for the Party conference in a few weeks-time, is that it clearly accepts the 1.5°C target and that this means achieving zero carbon emission by 2030. There were challenges to this during the debate in the branches and committees with proposals for a 2050 target date and to insert ‘net’ before zero. What will be put to conference, however, is not yet clear since there is a compositing process prior to conference where amendments will be discussed. RGL is arguing that if there is a challenge to the original there should to two options put to conference. The AOC campaign is not clear on the 2030 deadline and ‘net’ zero either. Although a target of net-zero by 2030 had been headlined at the public launch the AOC GND the Resolution itself, as submitted to Congress, is more conservative. It says that: “Global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 °C above pre-industrialised levels to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate, which will require global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.” It is true that this reflects the IPCC Report. Unfortunately, however, it reflects one of its weaknesses. The Report predicts that “the global temperature is likely rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 if warming continues to increase at the current rate.” This does not make sense. First it is predicated on warming continuing at the “current rate” – which is looking increasingly unlikely. Second it proposes action on the best case scenario rather than the worst. If 1.5 °C by 2030 is a clear possibility, as the IPCC report accepts, that should be the target date, since 2050 it could be too late. The ‘net’ zero carbon stipulation is also problem. ‘Net’ zero means achieving carbon emissions by balancing emissions with removal or sequestration, (often through offsetting) rather than eliminating carbon emissions altogether. Whilst anthropogenic sequestration can be a valid option it also opens the door to the manipulation of data and the falsification of results. ‘Net’ zero is defended in the AOC resolution by saying that it might not be possible to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from beef production or air travel before then. It should also be said that both of these deals are vague as to what constitutes fossil fuel energy and either explicitly or implicitly accept the use of nuclear power. Both also fail to address the issue of economic growth. With the AOC Resolution this is compounded by the name ‘New Deal’ with its reference to Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression – which was based entirely around growth. Growth, however, is not an option when it comes to saving the planet. At the average rate on economic growth of 3 per cent per year over the past 60 years the global economic would grow by a factor of sixteen in the course of a century and 250 over the course of this century and the next. Making the polluters pay They have another commonality as well. Whilst they both make excellent demands that point in the right direction, they both lack a high impact centralising demand capable of stopping the global temperature going above the1.5°C maximum temperature increase in the time-scale available to us and generating a mass movement around it – for example making the polluters pay for the pollution. Fossil fuel is hard-wired into the global energy system, with massive financial, corporate and ideological resources behind it. As long as it remains the most profitable way to generate energy this strangle-hold will continue to be used. In my view an important part of breaking this stranglehold is carbon pricing – making fossil energy dramatically more expensive than renewables by heavy (and increasing) taxes on carbon based products within the framework of a socially just progressive taxation system that transfers of wealth from the rich to the poor and generates mass support in the process. (Carbon taxes should not be confused with carbon trading as promoted by Kyoto and the UN: schemes such as the Clean Development Mechanism, the Joint Implementation Mechanism, and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. They are at best window-dressing and at worst licenses to pollute.) The omission of carbon taxes from these proposals is unsurprising, since carbon taxes are widely opposed on the radical left. This is often on the basis that they are a market mechanism, which indeed they are, but so is taxing the rich which has long (and rightly) been supported by the radical left. The issue is not whether a tax is a market mechanism but whether, in a given circumstance, it is progressive or reactionary. This is an important discussion. Peter Hudis, for example, in a recent article on the Red Green Labour site on June 15, argues that the most important attribute of the AOC Resolution is precisely that it has nothing to say on carbon taxes. He references, in justification, to the opposition of the Yellow Vests to Macron’s fuel tax in France, who saw it as an additional burden on the poorest in society. Macron’s carbon tax was indeed regressive, and the reaction of the Yellow Vests was entirely predictable. This was not because carbon taxes per se are regressive, but because this one was introduced in the framework of Macron’s right-wing agenda including tax breaks for the rich and cuts to social programs. The fact that nothing had been done on the left in France to promote the idea of progressive carbon taxes did not help. There are many ways in which carbon pricing can be used to bring down emissions rapidly and democratically. A proposal worth looking at, in my view, is the one proposed by James Hansen, the climate scientist who has done more to tackle climate change over the past 30 years than anyone else. He famously made a high profile intervention in the US Senate in 1988, which catapulted global warming and climate change into the public arena, making it an important turning point in public awareness. Hansen proposes a fee-and-dividend system which involves placing a uniform fee (or levy) on the fossil fuel production, at the pithead, the wellhead or at the port of entry, for each ton of carbon produced. The revenue generated would be distributed, on a heavily redistributive basis towards the poor, as dividends to the population as a whole on an individual (per capita) basis – with half shares for children up to two children per family (though restricting this to two children seems problematic). Those who reduce their carbon footprint the most would stand to benefit the most. Carbon pricing can also tackle pollution. According to Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) the 5p charge introduced in Britain in 2016 on single-use plastic bags resulted in an immediate 83 per cent reduction in plastic bag usage. More than 7 billion bags were handed out by seven main supermarkets in the year before the 5p charge but this plummeted to slightly more than 500 million in the first six months after the charge was introduced. This was also a market mechanism. The objection often made that taxing the polluters in this way is not revolutionary enough. This is a big mistake. It is true that this does not propose global socialist revolution as the immediate answer to the ecological crisis with the time scale we have – because such a call would be meaningless. What it does propose, however, that the forces that can in the end challenge the logic of capitalism are assembled in the course of a practical struggle to defend the planet in the here and now whilst capitalism still exists. Pushing the boundaries Whilst the various GNDs being proposed are diverse in their scope and objectives, what is clear is that they must push the boundaries of the situation they are in. We are in an evolving and radicalising situation and GNDs need to be at the cutting edge of it. They need to be a part of the broadest possible alliance in defence of the planet. This means reaching out to the trade unions with policies based on a just transition from carbon-based jobs to jobs based on renewable energy and an environmental perspective. It means a new energy system based on solar, wind, tidal, hydro and geothermal. It means developing green production and rejecting the throwaway society. It means demanding the public ownership of industry and land as the basis for the kind of fundamental restructuring of society that is urgently needed. It means rejecting policies that stand in the way of all this such as airport and aviation expansion, the dash for gas, fracking for more gas, nuclear energy, the use of biofuels and, importantly, industrialised agriculture with its dependency on artificial fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, and anti-biotics. All this means major changes not only to our energy superstructure but to how society is organised and to how people live their lives. Such strategic choices involved cannot just be left to governments, even a Corbyn government. Attempting to carry them through without mass support could be disastrous. These issues have to discussed by the whole movement since they will have to be implemented by the whole movement. Alan Thornett is the author of Facing the Apocalypse – Arguments for Ecosocialism, published by Resistance Books 2019.

Open Letter To Unions: UKSCN Stands in Solidarity

Like all ecosocialists, RedGreen Labour supporters have been inspired by the growth of environmentalism amongst school students and the combative and witty protests that have been taking place up and down Britain – and internationally – over the last six months. Many of us will be marching in solidarity next Friday, June 21. But the labour movement has now been thrown a welcome challenge by young people now – calling for more involvement for the Earth Stike action on September 29. We are thrilled that the Baker’s Union has already supported this call – lets see what the rest of us can do. UKSCN understands the power of protest. We understand the power of global collective action, and the necessity for economic and civil disruption. We understand the necessity for real, immediate, radical systemic change. But as it stands, our generation has no future. We, the next generation of workers, will face not only an increasingly insecure job market, zero hour contracts and falling living standards, but also the destructive impacts of the climate crisis. Climate breakdown will bring food shortages, a lack of resources, and will displace millions, and we know that this system will pass on these burdens to working people. This catastrophe will increase inequality on an extreme scale. The great tradition of unions and workers striking is one UKSCN have already begun to follow. The youth have shown a radical consciousness and international solidarity, striking to make our voices heard, striking to remind those in power that we are worthy of a future, a world, a planet on which we can not only survive, but can live, and breathe, and work. That future is being held back from all of us – youth strikers and workers alike. Those at the frontline of the UK’s political dramas have taken their farce ever further, entrenching themselves so deeply in their fantasy world that they are blind to the fact that the stage itself is crumbling. The longer they pretend that our future is a vague concept, rather than a very real and tangible deadline, then the longer they fail us and sell us out, day after day after day, as we count down those 11 years we’ve been given, before a chain of events is set off that will totally and inevitably destroy the industries that working communities rely on. We, the youth strikers, thank you, workers and unions for the workers across history who went on strike, and struggled for the rights we have today. Now is the time to see through the lies that they feed us to keep us – workers and young people, the most powerful forces, the real creators of change in our society – apart. Our struggle is your struggle. Your fight is our fight too. The rights of one are the rights of the many, and that equity – social and environmental – is what we will continue to fight for, until we get justice. The same bosses who cut wages are polluting the air. The same bosses who tried to stop workers fighting for their rights are heating up the planet. The same bosses you fought in the past are the ones we will defeat together. You forced politicians to take action and so will we. This is not only a show of our and a plea for your solidarity, but also a warning. We must totally decarbonise our economy and create a new, unionised, well paid workforce in green industries, or face the devastating impact on working communities that the climate crisis will bring. So join us. Let us unite our struggles and work together. We ask you to pledge that you will: 1. Invite us to your branch meetings to speak. 2. Pass motions to end support for high carbon sectors, industries that send our generation’s future up in flames. 3. Join us in calling for Green New Deal, making sure that the inevitable change is worker-led, and that not one job is lost but millions are created. Stand with us as we call for a just, worker-led transition from a self-destructive capitalist system into one that prioritises social equity and climate justice. Let us demonstrate together, recognising that the struggles for climate and worker justice are one and the same. Take industrial action and we youth strikers will stand there with you in solidarity. And where unions mobilise, let us look to coordinate with the youth strikes, to strike together for our collective cause. We know that the proponents of fossil fuel capitalism, those bosses who simultaneously exploit working people and the planet, will respond to one thing only – profit. Youth strikers have shown the power of collective action, now is the time to challenge those in power through a general strike. Because the struggle for climate justice is a workers’ struggle, the workers of today and the workers of the future must mobilise now to challenge the system that threatens us all. Our call for a general strike will be heard by politicians because that is a testament to the power of workers. That power is our government’s greatest fear. So be a part of that general strike. On the 27th of September, we will reclaim the streets together. Not just for our economy, or for our politicians. We will fight for our jobs, for our families, for our traditions. Together, we will fight for the future. In solidarity, UK Student Climate Network.