The climate change summit, the COP-24, does not provide any solutions to the climate crisis

Dec 18, 2018
The statement was written by trade unionists (amongst whom was ELA) and climate justice activists, meeting in Lisbon from the 22nd to the 25th of November, due to the initiative by the Portuguese Campaign for Seasonal Jobs and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. The text was launched at the closing session of the 4th International Ecosocialist Meetings.


The climate summit in Katowice is useless. The workers have to mobilise to demand a fair transition.

Politicians and businessmen will meet in Katowice, Poland, from the 3rd to the 14th of December, at a new climate change summit, the COP-24, to debate global climate action.

Firstly, they will blame the right wing governments that reject climate change, who are threatening to leave the Paris agreement. Then they will draft and sign more documents.

The international treaties and agreements involve serious penalties for the countries that wish to leave or break them. We know this because it has recently been seen in the case of international trade agreements. On the other hand, we know that there are no consequences regarding leaving the Paris Agreement, as this entails no penalties at all. But we also know how inconsequential it is to remain in the Paris Agreement, with its voluntary and non-binding goals, which even if they are met, continue to push us towards an uncontrolled climate change.

Capitalism will not be its own cure. The solution to the climate crisis must come from below.

Governments from all over the world must immediately launch fair transition programmes to lead us towards a post-carbon economy. However, at Katowice, as at the other previous twenty-three summits, the governments are going to talk about what must happen in 2030 or 2050, instead of taking on specific commitments for 2019 and 2020 (that is to say, when they are really in power).

At this moment, there is no energy transition (fair or unfair) in progress that is approaching the goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC, as the Paris Agreement suggests. The ‘business-as-usual’ principle only gives way to a transition towards climate chaos.

This means that the workers must take the matter into their own hands and fight for a fair tailor-made transition. We need to reach social and climate justice at the same time, because this is now the only way of gaining either of them.

We demand:

- Training programmes in renewable energies and energy efficient jobs for those who work in the fossil fuel industries, which must be launched immediately.

- Public, democratic control over the energy sector.

- Investment in public and group transport in cities, as well as in the connections between cities and countries.

- Mass investment and jobs in renewable energy systems.

- The end of all wars, as well as the production and sale of arms.

- Rationalising and locating the production lines, distribution and consumption, based on human requirements, instead of on profit-making.

We do expect anything to come from the halls of the COP24.

Our only hope lies in those who work to bury capitalism. We invite workers from all over the world to take action to defend an inhabitable planet and civilisation and to fight for a fair transition in their work places, in their communities and beyond these.