When "Green" Doesnt "Grow"

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1732 ... December 31, 2018

When "Green" Doesn’t "Grow":
Facing Up to the Failures of Profit-Driven Climate Policy

Sean Sweeney and John Treat

The onslaught of extreme weather and the increasingly stark scientific assessment leave no doubt that we face an ecological and civilizational emergency. But in the year since the 23rd annual Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, a constant stream of headlines and reports have confirmed that governments are not on track to meet their climate commitments.

The market-focused approach to climate protection has failed spectacularly. Using "sticks and carrots" policies aimed at the private sector, governments anticipated a surge of new "green growth" investment that would create millions of good jobs. This did not happen. It is now absolutely clear that climate policy must... shift in a radically different direction, and unions can help ensure that such a shift occurs as soon as possible.

Growing numbers of unions are already calling for a decisive shift away from policies that push privatization -- including predatory "public private partnerships" (P3s) -- and that are designed to please private investors who deliver too little and take too much.

Unions are increasingly rallying behind the idea of a needs-based, "public goods" approach to climate protection -- one that is grounded in extending public ownership and democratic control. Such an approach will give us a real chance to reach the Paris targets, and to advance the struggle for political and economic democracy, equality and decent work. This is the only way to achieve a just transition for all.

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