European left forms ecosocialist network

February 7, 2014

The growing ecological crisis and impending environmental catastrophe is leading more on the left to recognise that we need both red and green in our politics ― we have to be ecosocialists. One without the other is not going to work.

That is the strong message from the French Left Party, which has called for the founding of a European network, opposing the environmental degradation caused by capitalism’s relentless drive for profit.

The Left Party says it is essential to form an action network that extends beyond national boundaries and brings together activists and parties across Europe and beyond to halt the activities of the multinational corporations destroying the planet.

To this end, the party hosted a European conference on January 19. The conference drew more than 30 representatives from across Europe.

Participants came from Belgium (Socialist Party youth, VEGA and the Movement of the Left), Spain (Ecosocialist Party of Murcia, CLI-AS, Catalunya Verda and United Left), the Swedish Left Party, the Albanian Left, the Social Justice Movement and the Red-Green Alliance from Poland, Ensemble a Gauche from Switzerland, Syriza from Greece, Left Bloc from Portugal, the Left Party of Belarus, the Romanian Left Party and the Environmentalist and Green parties of Hungary.

From Britain, Left Unity, the Green Left (part of the Green Party of England and Wales), the Alliance for Green Socialism and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament were all represented.

The morning session featured reports from various national campaigns and the afternoon session discussed the many proposals for joint action. Comrades from the left Party in France introduced the main declaration, which representatives agreed to take back into their national forums for discussion and amendment.

Proposed points included:

* To reconstruct and expand the field of public services by promoting their free usage, and to defend social rights;

* To leave behind nuclear energy and “extractivism”, to limit the use of carbon-emitting energies, and to plan a true energy transition;

*To ban the extraction of shale gases and oils and put a stop to large, useless building plans, to protect farmland and food sovereignty;

* To defend biodiversity;

* To reject “green” capitalism, the carbon market and the associated financial mechanisms;

* To develop socialisation, self-organisation and a social and solidarity economy, and to launch a massive industrial plan for energy savings and renewable energies;

* To relocate production by favouring short production and supply chains;

*To implement protection and a mile-tax at the borders;

*To put an end to free-marketism and the Troika’s austerity, and to develop a cooperation-based trading system;

* To reject the EU-US Transatlantic Single Market;

* To support the peoples’ struggle against the rich and powerful in developing countries so as to favour ecosocialist cooperation among European countries and between the world's people.

The conference was the first in a series of meetings moving towards establishing a European action network on such issues. The next meeting will be in Brussels in early March.

Despite many difficulties in coordinating national actions and the very different tempos of the movements in Europe, the conference was an important step forward.

[Reprinted from Left Unity. Andrew Burgin is a member of Left Unity in England.]

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