A Manifesto for
Radical Climate Action
PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT
Our planet is in danger from major climate damage that has already begun. If we do not act immediately, we will face extreme weather, flooding and intolerable heat in the very near future.
Carbon-fuelled capitalism is now the biggest threat facing humanity. The planet’s natural resources have been steadily depleted as corporations cut down rain forests, undermine bio-diversity and overheat the planet by releasing dangerous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
According to the International Panel on Climate Change, we have just over a decade to cut CO² emissions by 45% or face a dangerous tipping point that could make large sections of the earth uninhabitable. We are all vulnerable if these targets are not met, but we are not all equally responsible.
Our twin objectives are to reduce emissions and create a Just Transition for farmers, workers and ordinary families.
- Take the major agri-corporations into public ownership and use their resources to help finance a Just Transition for farmers and rural Ireland.
- Implement a major afforestation and rewilding programme, and offer farmers €3,000 per annum for every hectare used for CO² absorption.
- Reduce the dairy herd by 50% and compensate farmers with a New Green Payment.
- Close all coal and peat-fired power stations immediately – retrain staff on full pay.
- Create a state-owned renewable energy company to create 90% of Irish electricity from renewables by 2030.
- Open the grid to micro-generators and engage local communities in the planning of wind energy infrastructure.
- Set up a state building company to embark on a major retrofit of our housing stock.
- Give up-front state grants of €30,000 on average to cover the cost of retrofitting private homes to be paid back from lower energy bills.
- Target houses with poor BER ratings, those in fuel poverty and those in Local Authority Housing for a deep retrofit.
Did you know 71% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from just 100 global corporations?
Climate change is the defining crisis of our times. Last October, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it clear that without major changes in how we use our land, meet our economic needs, power our homes and transport our families, life for hundreds of millions of people will quickly become unsustainable.
The profits of big business are the main drivers of this crisis, with 20 oil and gas conglomerates responsible for 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions and the top 100 corporations responsible for 71%. These companies publicly profess their support for keeping global temperatures below a 2-degree increase – agreed through the Paris Climate Agreement – but they are gearing up for a world that will be between four and six degrees warmer. In October 2019, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, admitted that major banking corporations are financing an expansion of oil and gas infrastructure that will lead to temperature increases that would be simply catastrophic.
This is on top of evidence from the influential think tank Carbon Tracker that the biggest oil and gas companies will lose more than two trillion dollars if the world heeds the warnings of the scientific community and limits emissions in line with the IPCC report.
To stop this from happening, big business continues to extract oil and gas at an increasing rate whilst spending hundreds of millions lobbying politicians to keep ‘business as usual’. These people are literally willing to scorch the planet in pursuit of profits and the Irish government is with them all the way.
Having banned fracking under pressure from the left, Fine Gael have now placed a major fracked gas processing project – Shannon LNG – on the European Union’s priority energy list. If it goes ahead, Shannon LNG will provide a ready market for fracked gas from the US despite the damage to people and the environment that the government accepted when banning it in Ireland. Fine Gael have also blocked People Before Profit’s Bill to leave remaining fossil fuels in the ground, in a move that exposes their utter hypocrisy around climate justice. Big business, and their political backers in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, will never take the action required to tackle run away climate change.
Instead, we need to put our faith in trade unions, young people and progressives who are taking to the streets in ever greater numbers to demand climate action to protect their lives and their futures.
People Before Profit is very proud to be part of this growing movement for climate justice and we offer this manifesto for radical climate action as a small contribution in the fight against a bankrupt elite hell bent on pursing profits regardless of the consequences for the rest of humanity.