Editor’s Note: This article comes to us via the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). This article was written by Emil Olsen, member of the Presidential Council of the WFTU & Coordinator of the Working Youth Committee of the WFTU.
We live in a strange time where crises come almost like pearls on a string.
The issues are quite numerous, the current situation in Ukraine, the rising prices of energy and food, the hell of armament and not least the question of nature and the survival of the planet.
They are all issues that have 2 common features. Firstly, that it is the working class and the general population who will be the big victims. Secondly, it says something about the stage capitalist society is at, the reaping of rottenness.
In my view, it is in this light that we must deal with the issue of the so-called green transition. It is as if the climate struggle and the green transition, which has been on everyone’s lips for a number of years now, have developed into a new battle ground in the capitalist system. In other words, an idea for the parties preserving the system to give capitalism a new spiritual hope. That we can transform ourselves, do things in a smarter way etc. but they do not take into account that it is the very capitalist way of production that is the reason that all energy will soon be sucked out of our planet where profit considerations and the imperialists’ fight for resources and markets come before the considerations of man and nature, and not least the coexistence between them that is imperatively necessary for future generations.
In Denmark, this has been a theme for many years. In the last elections, politicians in the danish parliment Christianborg made it clear that the 2019 elections were climate elections and that the green transition had to be stepped up. Sure, some wild nature areas have been set aside, and good for them. But the very fundamental and obvious problems with the conversion have not been addressed in any way because the root of the problem is not being tackled.
Namely the capitalist mode of production and the ownership of the green transition.
Let me give an example.
Firstly, we need to look at the conversion to green energy itself and the ownership of the conversion. Those of us who live in the outback know how the green transition is planned. In 9 out of 10 cases, and particularly in the case of large-scale projects, large multinational companies buy up land and buy up houses in order to be able to install wind turbines, for example. In this way, they reduce the population base and thus the conditions for the surrounding businesses, schools, associations, etc. This means that for areas which already do not receive much political and economic attention, the conditions for coexisting with the green transition become more difficult. Large multinational companies buy up their areas and then dismantle them and erect wind turbines, taking all the energy and profit out of the area. A resource which could otherwise help to lift an outlying area, but which has the opposite effect for the many people who live in these areas, because the ownership of the green conversion is in the hands of the large multinational companies.
Secondly, there is the anti-climax of the price of energy.
The Danish Energy Council commissioned an analysis of green and renewable energy in 2020.
It said: “never before has the power that comes out of Danes’ sockets been more climate-friendly.”
In 2020, it showed that green renewable energy accounts for 80% of Danish consumption. The electricity is a wash true climate hero believes in Danish energy.
But when we as consumers today look at our electricity bills with steep price increases, well the hero deed can be hard to spot.
Is it because green electricity is more expensive than black electricity? Or is it because ownership of our energy sector is in the hands of private enterprise? And because the taxes imposed are used to fund all sorts of other misdeeds. Like corporate welfare during the corona or military buildup?
The green transition will, quite naturally under the conditions of capitalism, be a battle space for markets and resources. Where the big multinational corporations cynically play their cards to fit. Not to the needs of people and workers, not to the needs of the climate. But focusing solely on the self-interest sphere and profit opportunities.
This has 275 redundant workers felt in Vestas here in 2022, of which 75 were employed in Denmark.
So one can conclude that as long as the capitalist mode of production and private property are not done away with in general. Then the green transition is nothing but a new spiritual hope for capitalist society. The demand must therefore be for the popular movements, a rebellion against capitalist society which may well convert to greening profits, but can in no way convert to benefit the working class and the population at large.
A transformation must therefore be in the interests of the people, a showdown with the monopoly capitalist powers is therefore necessary, everything else is empty talk.