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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


The Road to Sharm el Sheikh

SO RISHI SUNAK is going to Egypt after all for COP27 – or to give it its full name, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. There he’ll meet his master, Jo Biden, as well as the leaders of Franco-German imperialism and the rest of the imperialist pack gathering at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh for the largest annual conference on climate change.

The woman Sunak kicked out of Downing Street not only shunned the UN jamboree but put the block on the King’s attendance as well. This was not surprising. Liz Truss filled her mercifully short-lived government with climate-change deniers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg. She had ties with the anti-climate change lobby, and she was also a vocal advocate for the role of gas as a transition fuel.

Sunak initially followed Liz Truss’s footsteps, saying he was far too busy to go to Egypt next week. But mounting pressure from his own camp and fear that his absence would be exploited by Boris Johnson changed his mind.

Johnson, who is going to grandstand at Sharm el Sheikh, was the host at last year’s conference in Glasgow. There imperialist leaders and their minions trumpeted their self-proclaimed green credentials whilst the largest delegation came from the fossil fuel industry.

Unsurprisingly, little came out of the COP26 conference apart from the usual platitudes.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says “caving in to criticism is not leadership. Real leadership is seizing your seat at the table”. But by overturning another dismal Truss diktat the new Tory leader shows that he’s at least prepared to listen to the global demands for international action to cut planet-heating emissions.

All the imperialist leaders, with the obvious exception of Donald Trump, pay lip-service to the environmental protection and climate change lobbies. None of them, however, are prepared to challenge the super-profits that the banks and corporations get from their fossil fuel investments.

The wave of record heat-waves, floods and the wild-fires that swept across the world in the summer has added a new sense of urgency to the call for action to tackle the climate emergency. Whilst recognising that climate change was the ultimate cause of all these disasters, the imperialists ignore the eco-lobby’s call for sustainable developments and continue to put profits before people.

Last year the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that said climate change is “widespread, rapid, and intensifying, and some trends are now irreversible, at least during the present time frame”.

But there is still time to limit climate change. Strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could quickly improve air quality, and over the next 20–30 years global temperatures could stabilise.

“There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change,” says Sunak. “There is no energy security without investing in renewables.” But whether his government is prepared to take action to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries remains to be seen.