20 theses against green capitalism.

Position:Climate Economics: Sense & Nonsense

[Below are a few critical theses against green capitalism. They were originally intended as an input for a meeting in Poznan discussing the mobilization towards/against the 2009 climate change summit in Copenhagen, but may be useful in all sorts of discussions.]

No to false solutions! Climate Justice Now!

  1. The current world economic crisis marks the end of the neoliberal phase of capitalism. "Business as usual" (financialization, deregulation, privatization ...) is thus no longer an option: new spaces of accumulation and types of political regulation will need to be found by governments and corporations to keep capitalism going.

  2. Alongside the economic and political as well as energy crises, there is another crisis rocking the world: the biocrisis, the result of a suicidal mismatch between the ecological life support system that guarantees our collective human survival and capital's need for constant growth.

  3. This biocrisis is an immense danger to our collective survival, but like all crises it also presents us, social movements, with a historic opportunity: to really go for capitalism's exposed jugular, its need for unceasing, destructive, insane growth.

  4. Of the proposals that have emerged from global elites, the only one that promises to address all these crises is the "Green New Deal." This is not the cuddly green capitalism 1.0 of organic agriculture and D.I.Y. windmills, but a proposal for a new "green" phase of capitalism that seeks to generate profits from the piecemeal ecological modernization of certain key areas of production (cars, energy, etc.).

  5. Green capitalism 2.0 cannot solve the biocrisis (climate change and other ecological problems such as the dangerous reduction of biodiversity), but rather tries to profit from it. It therefore does not fundamentally alter the collision course on which any market-driven economy sets humanity with the biosphere.

  6. This isn't the 1930s. Then, under the pressure of powerful social movements, the old "New Deal" redistributed power and wealth downwards. The "New New" and "Green New Deal" discussed by Obama, green parties all around the world, and even some multinationals is more about welfare for corporations than for people.

  7. Green Capitalism won't challenge the power of those who actually produce most greenhouse gases--the energy companies, airlines and carmakers, industrial agriculture--but will simply shower them with more money to help maintain their profit rates by making small...

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