New Communist Party of Britain
This is just one section of the Main Political Resolution adopted at the 2009 16th Congress of the New Communist Party of Britain.
An index to the other sections can be found here -> [2009 Policy Documents]
The impact of global warming is being felt throughout the world and the climate now hangs in the balance, as the Arctic ice is melting faster than before. Scientists monitoring global warming predict that higher temperatures could hasten melting in Antarctica, the world’s largest repository of fresh water. The result of this would be to raise sea levels by about 57 metres. This would affect some 146 million people living in low−lying coastal regions less than one metre above current sea levels.
The main cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels and last year the International Energy Agency (IEA), in its Global Energy Outlook , the most authoritative report on global energy, confirmed that every source of fossil fuel we rely on now will not be able to keep pace with the ever−increasing global demand
While there are still reserves of oil to be tapped those reserves are likely to come to market at ever higher cost. Oil locked in shale, sand or buried deep under the ocean costs far more to access, transport and refine than the traditional reserves that have kept industry going until now.
Over the past few years ethanol, which can be derived from various food and non−food plants grown in countries all over the world, is being increasingly used as an alternative fuel
In the USA, the country with the highest figure for CO2, biofuels production topped nine billion gallons, doubling output since 2005, most of which was made from corn, which is the only commercially viable feedstock in the US.
The new Barack Obama administration is aiming for the use of 36 billion gallons by the year 2022 to ensure that the USA is self−sufficient in energy.
Producers of the bioenergy, who are subsidised to the tune of $1.90 per gallon, claim that biofuels are “climate friendly” and that there are vast areas of land in many countries no longer needed for food production. This ignores the fact that yields per hectare for many food crops are actually falling.
There is no evidence that the main biofuel crops — palm oil, soya, sugar cane and jatropha — actually have lower life−cycle greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels.
Putting vast areas of land under monocultures of the ethanol producing plants needed to produce enough fuel for the numbers of cars, trucks, and planes needed to keep the present society going would be a disaster.
It would raise food prices and threaten the destruction of the rainforest, the breaking up of local communities, water supplies, biodiversity and the climate of the globe and could trigger a global catastrophe.
Leaders of the European countries recognise that that the rich countries must provide funds to the developing nations so that they can reduce greenhouse gases towards the climate plan based on their ability to pay, according to their level of responsibility in causing climate change. So far they have not put a single euro on the table.
In this country under the Climate Change Act which was passed in 2008 — which was led by Friends of the Earth through the Big Ask campaign — the British Government is legally required to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050.
The Committee on Climate Change has recommended that the Government should commit “unilaterally to reducing emissions of all greenhouse gases in this country”. Friends of the Earth are calling for Britain to commit itself to the 42per cent target now, because the latest science indicates that the industrialised world must cut its emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020.
Catastrophic climate change is not inevitable. The technologies that could dramatically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels already exist and have been proven to work.
There is no shortage of energy in the world, more development of wind, hydropower, tidal and solar power could provide enough energy for global needs.
Now real action is needed to put more pressure on governments to provide more funds, and put in place meaningful policies to ensure that an environmental catastrophe does not happen.