ECOSOCIALIST CONFERENCE FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE 26-28 June Basel

The Global Ecosocialist Network has received the following letter of invitation from the Movement for Socialism and solidaritéS regarding the planning of their forthcoming  international conference in Basel . GEN is pleased to publish this letter  and to publicise the conference . We look forward to receiving reports of its proceedings.

 Invitation to prepare a

international conference for an ecosocialist current of the climate movement

The two eco-socialist organisations Movement for Socialism (BFS-MPS) and solidartiéS invite you to an international eco-socialist conference in Basel on 26-28 June 2020. We address our invitation to all persons, currents and organisations in the climate movement, in the workers’ movement and in other social movements who are convinced that the great social and ecological challenges can only be solved by breaking with capitalism. With this conference we want to contribute to a strategic clarification and the construction of an effective eco-socialist movement.

We are currently working on a draft manifesto, which we will soon publish on our website https://eco-soc.net. We invite all interested parties to participate in the discussion and improvement of this draft manifesto in the run-up to the conference. We have set up a forum for contributions on the website.

We invite interested organisations, currents and individuals to participate in the preparation of the conference. We want to base the conference on an international sponsorship.

The following dates are already announced.

  • Saturday, 18 January, 8:30-10:00 a.m., Volkshaus, Zurich: Exchange of information and opinions about the international eco-socialist conference. This meeting will take place during the congress “Das Andere Davos”. “Das Andere Davos” is a counter-congress against the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, organized by the MPS.
  • Sunday, January 26, 11:00-17:00 in Bern, Casa d’Italia: preparatory meeting with delegates of the MPS and of solidartiéS. Interested people from other countries are invited. In order to minimize the transport effort, we can set up a Skype connection.
  • Date end of March / middle of April, location to be determined: Preparatory meeting for the conference. At this meeting the program of the conference and the further procedure for determined

With the following document we inform you about our project and our goals.

Interested parties are kindly requested to contact us so that we can send them all necessary information.

With solidarity greetings

Anouk Essyad (solidaritéS), Lausanne

David Soofali (Movement for Socialism), Basel

Christian Zeller (Aufbruch für eine ökosozialistische Alternative), Salzburg

International Conference
for an Ecosocialist Current

1       Challenge

Global heating puts mankind with the greatest challenge. The international climate movement, together with the women’s movement has fundamentally changed the political landscape in various countries. With the huge demonstrations, a new generation has decisively and globally visibly demonstrated its own political drive. Worldwide several million people demonstrated for immediate and effective measures to avert the current climate catastrophe. This movement is international, young, very female and persistent. It has the potential to change the social and political balance of power in many countries, at the European level and worldwide

The EU and European governments refuse to take effective action against global warming and climate disaster. They oppose any step that could weaken the competitive position of capital in their country. The climate movement is calling with ever greater vehemence for a radical change of policy. We assume, however, that the goal of limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5° C (which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is urging) will not be achieved under capitalist conditions. Too great is the pressure to valorize the capital already accumulated, too strong is the daily competition forcing companies to be competitive and maximize their profits, too intertwined are the governments with precisely these capital interests than they would be ready to take effective action. All governments have made it clear in recent months that they will not decide anything that would reduce the competitiveness of their country’s large corporations. In the face of the looming economic crisis and geo-economic tensions between the major economic blocs, the most powerful capital groups will continue to put pressure on governments to align their policies with the primacy of competitiveness. At the same time, major capital groups are pushing ahead with the “green modernization” project. The UN-supported objective of net “carbon neutrality” or “zero emissions” involves the use of so-called negative emission technologies such as BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration) that are both unreliable and dangerous to land, biodiversity, farmers and indigenous peoples. The integration of green parties into government responsibility should help to support this project and to remove the potential radicalism of the climate movement. The ruling classes, in association with Green parties, will want to pass on the costs of “green modernization” to broad sections of the wage earners. This, in turn, will offer reactionary, national-conservative and (post-)fascist forces the opportunity to gain influence among the workers using an anti-ecological rhetoric. Parts of the trade unions may also be susceptible to this rhetoric. This makes it all the more important to develop an eco-socialist class perspective and to anchor ourselves organizationally in the working class.

More and more activists in the climate movement are striving for a system change. However, the anti-capitalist and eco-socialist forces in the climate movement are weak. There are still hardly any debates in the climate movement about the strategic orientation of the movement. In no country in Europe do exist an essential political force that proposes an ecosocialist perspective. At the European level there is not even a debate on anti-capitalist perspectives. The established left-wing parties have already focused too much on the institutions. Their influence in the climate movement is modest. Although various anti-capitalist currents are driving concrete and mass-effective actions of the climate movement, they are hardly able to provide any clues for strategic orientation. Climate catastrophes can only be slowed down and averted by acting globally. In Europe, a common emancipatory perspective must be developed in view of the dense social, economic and political interdependencies and interdependencies. However, there is no European ecosocialist force that can make concrete proposals for a transitional perspective. Such a force must be built up.

2       Aim

We want to make a contribution to building an ecosocialist pole in the climate movement. To this end, we want to bring appropriate political forces in different countries into a common discussion and working context. Within this framework, we want to jointly develop programmatic, strategic and organizational proposals and incorporate them into the climate movement and the broader social debate. Both organisations and individuals can participate in this pole. The urgent goal is to bring radical activists together in the climate movement.

3       Project

The Movement for Socialism (BFS-MPS) and solidartéS, together with other organisations and individuals, will invite to a European Conference for an Ecosocialist Alternative, which will take place on 26-27 June 2020 in Basel. Basel is a good venue because it is easily accessible by rail from various countries. By the end of February 2020, the inviting persons and organisations will present a proposal for an ecosocialist emergency programme and for the formation of an ecosocialist current within the climate movement.

This proposal for an urgency programme sets out core elements of an ecosocialist strategy in Europe. This document makes statements on the following fundamental challenges: Ownership of the means of production, power and counter-power, anticapitalist rupture and departure for an ecosocialist alternative. This document contains proposals for concrete measures in the areas of disarmament, industrial reconstruction and dismantling, ecological agriculture, transport, urban and regional development, social infrastructure, work for care and social reproduction, reduction of working hours, international division of labour as well as comprehensive democratic and social rights, always under three aspects: fundamental resistance against exploitation, against all forms of oppression and against the pillage of nature. The concrete proposals should start with the level of consciousness of the movement and critical workers, but their dynamics should extend far beyond this and ultimately contradict the capitalist mode of production. The urgency programme also makes statements about the intervention of the ecosocialist current in the climate movement, the feminist movement and the trade unions.

The participating persons and organisations are invited to contribute to the discussion. The organisers of the conference will provide a website for this purpose. After detailed discussion, the conference will adopt a short final manifesto. This will be submitted for further discussion in the climate movement and in the trade unions.

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