Development needed

Most of the world is in urgent need of infrastructural and industrial development. Therefore in terms of our immediate programme we accept the idea of CO2 convergence and reduction. Given the vastly uneven levels of carbon emission (USA: 5.5 units per person; EU: 2.2; China: 0.7; and India: 0.2), there can be no question of equal sacrifice.

The plain fact of the matter is that industrially developed societies are much better placed to manage climate change than impoverished ones. They can afford to put in place flood defences, operate robust social security systems and, if need be, relocate people in an orderly fashion.

There are still those enchanted by the dream of universal and balanced development under the existing capitalist system. The Frank Furedi-inspired Spiked website comes to mind. Stupid - that or, more likely, they are paid to pull the wool over people's eyes. Capitalism means uneven development by definition and a declining capitalism must exacerbate that to the point of de-development. A capitalist Bangladesh can never achieve parity with western Europe or the US. Today such countries face a further descent into the hell holes of barbarism, not the steady ascent to the peaks of civilisation.

What climate change demands is not the suspension of the class struggle for higher wages, land redistribution, constitutional reform, etc: rather global coordination of the working class for the positive supersession of capitalism. What our fraught and increasingly strained relationship with nature demands is the elevation of the class struggle into a challenge for state power.

That is our main task and that requires organising communist parties in every country - under a Communist International - and winning the battle for extreme democracy.