Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels are responsible for the rise in average global temperatures since the beginning of the industrial era. What’s the industrial era? Put simply, before the 1700s people who owned land and all the resources on it, had most of the money and political power. In the 1700s, new inventions like the steam engine, needed lots of heat to work – so coal, that was mostly used for artwork was suddenly an important asset.

Scientists have shown that since the late 1700s the greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels have been forming a blanket around the planet that is making the planet warmer. In the last several decades, as technology has ramped up under capitalism, we are burning more and more fossil fuels and the amount of GHG in the atmosphere has increased rapidly – so has the heating of the planet.  This is what is causing all the changes in our climate, and all the extreme weather events – like cyclones and droughts.

Side note: Decarbonisation is a strange term actually. Carbon is not the only greenhouse gas causing us problems. Burning oil and gas produces Methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas that is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. This is why extracting oil and gas from our oceans and lands is not a safe way to transition away from coal. A decarbonised economy would include less private cars, more public transport, and a massive expansion of the electricity grid, fed on renewable energy with battery storage.

So, our first priority is to decarbonise rapidly… if we don’t we risk what is called runaway climate change, when it will be too late to do anything about the planet heating up.

Bottom line is, we need to transform our energy systems to make them serve the needs of the people and not corporations.

The safe way to decarbonise is to rapidly and aggressively move to renewable sources of energy to feed our electricity grids. The two most common sources of renewable energy are wind and solar (from the sun).

Don’t get me wrong, all of this is expensive… and not without difficulties. But with the right political will, we can plan ahead, and we can prioritise how we spend money. We can’t leave any of this to corporations as they are designed to extract profit through exploiting workers. So this is why people in the Climate Justice movement talk about a Just Transition.

Just Transition

Socially Owned Energy

Climate Reparations