WITH the UN climate change conference just two months away, the search for solutions to global warming is increasingly focused on those crucial deliberations in Glasgow.

According to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, that search has never been more important.

Accordingly, Scottish Socialist Party members have been out campaigning on Edinburgh’s Princes Street and elsewhere calling on Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon to recognise that only those measures that make people’s lives better will succeed in counteracting the threat global warming poses.

The IPCC recognised that the gap between the rich and poor is widening and those inequalities impede all attempts to significantly reduce harmful emissions. There is little to suggest that electric cars are going to solve the transport problem when 90% of people cannot afford them. Or that “heat pumps” costing £15,000 a piece can be installed by everyone to replace existing gas boilers. Or that the 100,000 people employed in the fossil fuel industries in Scotland can be left to fend for themselves just as their forefathers in the mining, steel, shipbuilding and automotive industries were.

The National: Alok Sharma

Yet COP26 president Alok Sharma (above) and his fellow Tory MP Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, repeatedly insist only “free-market solutions” will defeat the threat global warming poses. The Scottish Socialist Party disagrees for that approach will leave the majority of the world’s population at the mercy of those who are primarily responsible for those widening inequalities.

In wiser quarters there is a clearer understanding that, as with the Covid pandemic, market forces are incapable of solving this problem alone. Rather governments will again have to play the central role in directing the enormous investment required and in setting the political goals.

Two proposals widely accepted as having a crucial part to play have been championed by the Scottish Socialist Party – the introduction of free public transport and returning our oil, gas and electricity industries to public hands.

The first gives people a better alternative to using their cars and helps the poorest citizens most.

The second ensures the transition to clean energy benefits everyone and includes the eradication of fuel poverty in Scotland, one of the world’s richest energy-endowed nations.

The Scottish Socialist Party believes only those solutions that improve life for everyone can help limit the rise in the earth’s core temperature to two degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Colin Fox
National spokesman, Scottish Socialist Party

NOT unusual for the nasties to be petty about this (Scottish Tory MSPs to vote against Greens co-leaders becoming ministers, August 29).

The return of Scotland’s Parliament was the opportunity to reform the broken model of politics so clearly still visible in the shameful shambles that is Westminster.

This arrangement goes some way toward that. Keeping the right to stick with principle is not extremism – it is the very single thing most absent in all too many politicians.

The nasty party in government at Westminster is a disgraceful example of a rogue regime of corrupt right-wing extremists, and their minions at Holyrood are incapable of recognising how venal that government is.
Gordon Mulholland
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