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.
The Carbon Majors Report in 2017 showed that 71% of all greenhouse gas emissions can be linked to just 100 transnational corporations. A second report from the Climate Accountability Institute found that just 20 oil and gas corporations are responsible for 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.
These corporations have understood the effects of climate change for at least 30 years, but their addiction to profit has meant that they have increased production and emissions regardless of the consequences.
Ireland mirrors these trends in global capitalism as rapid growth has enriched the few at the expense of the many and increased greenhouse gas pollution in the process. Ireland is a particular laggard when it comes to emissions, producing 50% more per capita than other Europeans and three times as much as those in developing countries.
The government indulges in a hypocritical rhetoric about climate change but its actions tell another story.
Against this blatant hypocrisy and inaction, this manifesto proposes real actions so that Ireland lives up to its responsibilities. But we also want to make sure that working people are supported in any transitionary process and given the proper state supports to reduce Co2 emissions without damaging their standard of living.
In order to reach the twin objectives of emissions reduction and a Just Transition, we need to understand where the greenhouse gases which damage our planet are coming from in this country. We can then make specific proposals for change.
Despite producing a Climate Action Plan in 2019, Fine Gael are:
- Proceeding with an extra runway at Dublin Airport;
- Continuing to pursue international data centres that consume vast quantities of electricity;
- Continuing to subsidise peat production with high Co2 emissions;
- Supporting the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals at Shannon and
- Cork that will house massive quantities of fracked North American gas;
- Continuing to issue exploration licences to oil and gas companies;
- Blocking People Before Profit’s Bill to keep fossil fuels in the ground;
- Continuing to increase the beef and dairy herds in line with Harvest 2025.
From the above chart, we can see that 82% of greenhouse gas emissions come from four key areas as follows:
The rest of this manifesto spells out what specific action can be taken in each sector. We understand full well that our proposals will be deemed ‘impractical’ by those who support the current capitalist system. But this system is rapidly becoming impractical for humanity itself. Doing what the science demands means eco-socialist policies which place the interests of people and planet before the greed for profit of the major corporations.