Towards Workers' Climate Action
Workers and Trade Unions for Climate Solidarity: Tackling Climate Change in a Neoliberal World
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/03/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21375
Book review of Paul Hampton's Workers and Trade Unions for Climate Solidarity:
Tackling Climate Change in a Neoliberal World.
Hampton challenges the notion that an undifferentiated "we" can save the planet. "'We' should not assume that the same structures that gave rise to climate change in the first place will continue... 'we' cannot rely on the same business and state actors who caused the problem to tackle it."
Contemporary climate change politics has reached an impasse, "the great inaction." None of the representatives at the head of states and multilateral institutions has a credible plan to tackle climate change - as became clear to all who would see in 2009 at Copenhagen.
Instead, a new age of extreme energy is emerging. Despite talk about "going green," renewable energy use is not growing fast enough to appreciably slow down the rise in fossil fuel use. Hopes for a Green New Deal have reached a political dead end.
While unions have been weakened during the neoliberal period, Hampton posits waged workers and organized labor as the essential starting point for developing a climate counter-power, a working class based movement to fight for a "just transition" to an ecologically sustainable society.