For the many workers, carers, students and others who have become politicised by the climate emergency, the prospects for the required radical transformation of economy and society in Ireland and globally seem dismal. The IPCC was clear in its latest report. Enough resources and capital exist in the world to avert planetary catastrophe, but the ruling economic system prevents action. This document is aimed at those struggling to operationalise their political concerns around climate, the cost of living and how to be effective activists in their workplaces, homes and communities.
Climate inaction and climate burnout are a result of depoliticisation of a very political problem. We need a way of seeing, discussing and doing climate action that places the issue in the central position that it occupies, that means recognising it as a fulcrum issue for capitalism globally. At the same time, workers and carers who are presently subjected to eco-austerity by those in power are the only class with the interest and capacity to produce a pathway to a decarbonised economy. In this sense, there is no ‘transition’ without revolutionary change. We see the operational objective of climate politics as producing agency among workers and carers, alongside an eco-socialist industrial strategy and programme of state investment and legislation for taking utilities, transport and housing into public control, and a reform agenda for agriculture which renders Ireland a major contributor to global food security and equity. The intended audience of this document is therefore those it seeks to empower: workers and carers. It will be used to engage trade unions and other political actors in communities and workplaces towards the development of a concrete eco-socialist decarbonisation plan.