Satellite imaging shows the extent of this spring’s sea ice and snow melt in northern Alaska. Photograph: NOAA
Thursday 14 July 2016 13.37 EDT
Though it does not actually say so, the report of the Committee on Climate Change (Report, 12 July) is a salutary reminder that a capitalist economy based on infinite economic growth, as expressed in terms of consumption-led GDP, is unsustainable and, if allowed to continue in its present form, will ultimately devastate the entire planet. Moreover, unless we cease using fossil fuels for energy and replace them with renewables at the earliest possible opportunity, the voluntary agreement reached at last year’s COP 21 climate summit to limit increases in global temperatures to less than 2C will be little more than hot air.
For an energy union like the GMB with thousands of members in the gas industry, the priority must be to establish a viable, UK-based, publicly owned renewable energy industry, thus enabling a just transition for those whose jobs will cease to exist in the coming decades. For this to happen, the vested interests of the privately owned energy monopolies have to be challenged, a point eloquently made by climate activist Naomi Klein at a packed meeting during COP 21 in Paris, organised by the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy network, which GMB supports.