Thank you for your presence today at the teleconference of the European Communist Action.
The peoples all over the world are facing serious, acute and chronic problems in all spheres of their lives and are confronted with the constant deterioration of the environment and the climate. This has already enormous consequences for humanity and future generations due to the capitalist mode of production, which aims at ensuring maximum profit.
Under the pretext of global warming, the ‘green’ bourgeois strategy has been drawn up with specific anti-popular objectives that reflect the needs and aims of the bourgeois classes, at the expense of the working class and the popular strata, as a way out of the problems of the system, by mobilizing the accumulated stagnant capital at a time when a new capitalist crisis is imminent. This capital is being used for a restructuring of production and this is in fact a plan of the monopolies to integrate new technologies, with the sole criteria being their profits and the intensification of the exploitation of the workers. In the same context, the combination of ‘green’ and digital —in any case anti-popular— objectives of capital is being promoted.
In order to promote this strategy, which is hostile to the people, each imperialist centre is making its own plans in international competition. With a barrage of supposedly green industrial standards legislation, the EU is seeking to put obstacles in the way of its leading competitors, the USA and China, in order not to lose ground to them, at a time when they are sharpening their rivalry for supremacy in the international capitalist system. Each of the imperialist powers develops huge financial packages allocated to the ‘green’ business groups, as in the case of the Recovery Fund in the EU, which are the product of the bleeding dry of the workers.
The occasional compromises achieved through various inter-capitalist agreements, such as the Paris Agreement in 2016 and the joint declarations at the annual COPs like the one in Dubai, confirm the anti-popular strategy jointly promoted by the monopolies, the governments, the lobbies and their NGOs.
The EU and all the governments in European countries abound with claims of a ‘man-made climate crisis’. They blame the people, trough individual responsibility, for climate change. They attempt to turn reality on its head, provocatively presenting the perpetrator of the destruction of the environment, i.e. the capitalist system, as the ‘saviour’.
When it comes to the destruction of the environment and the disastrous intervention in it, no greater example exists than the waging of wars. First of all, the incalculable consequences due to the loss of human lives, the wounded and the uprooted are accompanied by the dramatic consequences for the soil, the flora and fauna, the water, the climate, the natural environment as a whole.
It is hypocritical of those who promote imperialist war plans, finance war and propagate it fervidly to pretend to be ‘protectors of the environment’. The danger of an escalation is obvious and stems from the enormous interests at stake in the struggle for supremacy in the international imperialist system, for the control of markets and spheres of influence between the Euro-Atlantic and the emerging Eurasian camp, i.e. between the USA-EU-NATO and the Russia-China alliance. The genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza and their barbaric forced displacement as well as the massacre in Ukraine due to the imperialist war between NATO and capitalist Russia are raging. The US and British missile attacks on Yemen, which we once again condemn on this occasion as well, make the situation even more explosive, with the intensification of imperialist competition for the control of the strategically important Red Sea. So do the other atrocities of the US-NATO-EU in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, etc. all these past decades, from which the monopolies profit, with grave consequences for the peoples and the environment.
The environmental impact of war is such that the restoration of ecosystems requires many decades and often the damage is irreversible both to the atmosphere and the water. All of the above are worse still when imperialists deploy biological and nuclear weapons, as well as the supposedly banned cluster bombs in Gaza and Ukraine. NATO has, after all, adopted the ‘first nuclear strike’ as a part of NATO 2030 strategy, while Russia has made similar changes to its nuclear doctrine.
Of course, the EU and governments, which serve the interests of capital, unscientifically and arbitrarily label nuclear energy, the carcinogenic waste incineration and the transfer of toxic waste to third countries in Africa and Asia as ‘green’, while promoting the so-called due diligence, i.e. a regime where monopoly groups supposedly exercise self-monitoring by preparing bespoke reports that greenwash their actions, while they continue polluting with the sole obligation to record the pollution levels. At the same time, they have set up the cynical emissions trade to continue plundering the environment with dire consequences.
All bourgeois parties, from liberals to social democrats —including the so-called Party of the European Left and the “Left” in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL)—, greens, and far-right parties, have supported, voted for and promoted these EU directions. This has led to the legitimization of the encroachment of ecosystems, areas of outstanding natural beauty and priceless historical and cultural importance in order to install wind turbines. The same applies to the supposedly protected Natura areas, for which the EU and governments have now institutionalized unhindered business activity, tourism and any other exploitation of forests and other valuable ecosystems. At the same time, there is a huge lack of the necessary infrastructure and means for fire, flood and earthquake protection, with tragic results for the people.
The implementation of the strategy of the so-called green transition, the liberalization of the energy market, the consolidation of the ‘energy exchange’ and the transformation of energy into a financial product, together with the decrease of real wages and heavy taxation, condemn the peoples to energy poverty and inflation that manifested itself before the war in Ukraine, which further exacerbated it. Moreover, the peoples are paying the price for the sanctions imposed due to the EU strategy of decoupling from cheaper Russian gas and opting for the polluting regasification of very expensive US LNG.
The myth that the increase in the proportion of renewable energy sources in the energy mix of each EU country and the increase in cheap and abundant fuel for electricity generation, such as lignite in Greece, would supposedly lead to cheap energy for the people, has been dispelled by a skyrocketing in prices and ‘green’ charges and fees, which is eating away at the people’s meager wages.
The communists were right to warn that as far as capitalist ownership and the pursuit of profit are involved in energy, the people will pay for it as a very expensive commodity, whether it is electricity, fuel or foodstuffs, on which there is an equally direct impact. This is also the reason why the people end up paying much more expensive electricity, while in the name of individual responsibility they are to blame for supposedly making a bad choice between the providers - vultures of the liberalized energy market. And all this happens at a time when there are many more possibilities for utilizing various forms of energy, when there are many more deposits discovered and exploited by the capitalists, and when pipelines that transfer energy are proliferating using the most up-to-date technological means. We would particularly like to note that old state energy monopolies in each country, which are capitalist enterprises and operate under the collective capitalist, i.e. the bourgeois state, also play a key role in the energy market. In the jungle of the ‘liberalized’ market, each business group operates on the basis of the profit of its shareholders, and competes with other groups, regardless of whether it is 100% owned by the state, or the state’s share has increased or decreased. The re-nationalizations that have taken place recently in Germany, France etc. do not constitute a pro-people policy, but shift the burden of the shareholders’ losses of many billions onto the taxpayers – workers.
The bourgeois state cannot be a pro-people counterweight to the interests of private groups. Thus, the conclusion drawn is that the way out for the people, which the communists should highlight, cannot lie in slogans or calls to return to the capitalist past of an expanded state intervention but to move forward, to the socialization of the means of production. Think about the radical difference it would make for the people if electricity and fuel were not commodities; if their price and the utilization of domestic energy sources were not determined by capitalist profit and competition among business groups, nor by the commitments of the EU and all imperialist alliances.
This can only happen under socialism and social ownership, which can safeguard the welfare of the people. Under workers’ power, which can plan a central, scientific production, on the basis of the needs of the entire society, with an active, substantial role of the workers in the making, implementation and control of decisions. It is the energy planning of socialism that can utilize all domestic energy sources to eliminate energy poverty and unemployment, to ensure the energy sufficiency of each country and to protect the safety of workers, the environment and the health of the people.
In today’s conditions, the European Communist Action can clash with the ‘green’ strategy of the business groups and the EU governments. We demand:
- Disengagement from the imperialist wars, closure of US-NATO bases and facilities. No participation of our countries’ Armed Forces in US-NATO-EU missions.
- Immediate flood, earthquake and fire protection works. Substantial relief and protection of those affected with full state compensation.
- Protection of forests and the water table against privatization and all business activities, as well as the commercialization of water.
- No land use changes and destruction of the natural environment by the installation of onshore or offshore wind turbines and solar panels.
- A ban on the carcinogenic incineration of waste (RDF-SRF) and other dangerous ‘alternative’ fuels such as petcoke.
- No ‘green’ taxes and fees.
- No to the commercialization of coasts and beaches.
In the coming period, the European Communist Action should contribute to highlighting the importance of the above demands, in order for them to support the action of the workers’-people’s movement in response to the organized manipulation operation by social democracy, opportunism, all kinds of NGOs which, with movements like ‘Fridays for Future’, promote brainwashing, especially among the youth, and the bourgeois school claiming that the exploitative capitalist system can become pro-environmental. The ideological struggle is bound to intensify ahead of the European Parliament elections. The ECA parties can be in a better position to struggle by exposing the plans of capital and serving the interests of the people. To strengthen the workers’-people’s struggle on these issues, in a line of confrontation with capital, the EU and their governments, highlighting that only through socialism is it possible to stop the waste of the planet’s resources. Because only socialism serves the interests of the working people and the protection of the environment.