We are facing deep-rooted climate, social, and environmental crises. The current dominant economic system cannot provide solutions. It is time for system change.
For Friends of the Earth International this means creating societies based on peoples’ sovereignty and environmental, social, economic, and gender justice. We must question and deconstruct the capitalist logic of accumulation.
The climate catastrophe is interwoven with many social and environmental crises, including oppression, corporate power, hunger, water depletion, biodiversity loss and deforestation.
At its heart sits an unsustainable economic system, the sole aim of which is endless growth and profit. This system concentrates wealth, power, and obscene privilege with the few. Corporations and national elites are empowered by that very system to exploit people and their livelihoods with impunity.
We must tackle climate change and the associated social and environmental crises by taking rapid and bold action to address the common root causes; privatization, financialization and commodification of nature and societies, and unsustainable production and consumption systems.
The magnitude of the crises we face demands system change. That system change will result in the creation of sustainable societies and new relations between human beings, and between human beings and nature, based on equality and reciprocity. But we cannot create these societies and assert people’s rights without increasing people’s power. We need to reclaim politics.
This means creating genuine, radical, and just democracies centered around people’s sovereignty and participation.
International law must put people above corporate profit, ensuring binding rules for business and mechanisms that guarantee access to justice for victims of transnational corporations. System change calls for an articulation of the struggles against oppression; that is, patriarchy, racism, colonialism, and class and capitalist exploitation.
It demands commitment to the struggle against the exploitation of women’s bodies and work. We are witnessing how the expansion of capital over the territories leads to increased violence against women alongside the violation of their rights.
Gender justice will only be possible when we recognize women as political subjects, stop violence against women, strengthen women’s autonomy, advance the principles of feminist economy, deconstruct the sexual division of labor, and reorganize care work.
A transformation of the energy system is fundamental to system change. It entails democratic answers to the fundamental questions: for whom and what is energy produced? And a total departure from fossil fuel reliance and corporate control.
It is not only about changing technologies and renewable energy, but about public and community ownership and control, therefore addressing the root problems of a system that turns energy into a commodity and denies the right to energy for all.
Genuine system change would radically transform the food system toward food sovereignty and agroecology: valuing local knowledge, promoting social and economic justice and people’s control over their territories, guaranteeing the right to land, water and seeds, nurturing social relations founded on justice and solidarity, and recognizing the fundamental role of women in food production, to provide an effective way to feed the world, and a counter to destructive industrial agriculture.
This article has been excerpted from: ‘No, Capitalism Will Not Solve the Climate’.