In the UK and across the world, the poverty, climate and energy crisis share the same cause: rich governments and corporations have been exploiting people and the planet for profit.
With energy bills set to increase to £2,000, 1 in 4 UK families won’t be able to pay their energy bills this Autumn. Meanwhile, BP made £18,000 per minute last year while intensifying the climate crisis and obstructing the just transition that we urgently need. Instead of enforcing a windfall tax that would help people across the UK pay their bills, the UK government has given oil and gas companies £13.6bn in subsidies since the Paris Agreement. Now the UK government is using the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis to push for more drilling for oil & gas in the North Sea, even though the IEA has said we cannot have more fossil fuel projects if we want to keep to 1.5 degrees. Even the recent IPCC reports have confirmed that governments are still doing too little too late.
On May 1st, International Workers’ Day, join May Day demonstrations in your area to show that the struggle for climate justice is one and the same as the struggle of working people. Across the world, working people – especially the lowest income and communities of colour – bear the brunt of the multiple crises. With our labours rights, pay and working conditions continuously under attack from ever increasing precarity, millions struggle to pay sky-rocketing rent and bills.
To solve these problems, we have to solve them all together. Climate justice recognises that all of our struggles lead back to the same unjust system. We need climate action that works for all of us, not just the people with the most money in their pocket. Our solutions not only reduce carbon emissions but in the process creates a fairer and more just world where all our needs are met. To tackle the climate crisis from the root of the problem, we need a Worker-led Justice Transition – this means shifting away from the fossil fuel industry and investing in renewable energy to create decent unionised green jobs and services. But these new infrastructures and services can’t only be built in the Global North with resource extraction and human rights abuses in the Global South. Local and global justice must be at the heart of this transition, through people-owned energy systems, expansion of care services, locally-sourced food, and green and affordable housing and public transport.
We can only move the dial if we join together. Take to the streets this May Day to link together our struggles and say loud and clear that climate justice means economic justice and workers rights.