Saturday, December 15, 2018

FRANCE reminds us: No ecological justice without social justice

I just thought: there is a caveat to my post saying that I am in favour of dictatorship with regard to measures against climate change: climate measures should be fair and not hit the poor more than the rich, or rather the reverse: they should hit the rich more than the poor. 

As a friend of mine said: "Macron's huge mistake was approaching the climate problem without any consideration for the social damage that decades of neoliberal austerity have caused to the living standards of the majority. Mitigating the coming climate catastrophe will require sacrifices from all, but they will only be accepatablle in a democracy if it's clear that the rich are sacrificing the most. That means that the funds for conversion to a sustainable economy need to come from wealth taxes that will reduce today's glaring inequalities and a restoration of the welfare guarantees that ordinary people have lost since 1980. If citizens see that happening, they will support the measures necessary to insure a future for their children.

As one of the French Green protesters said last weekend, ecological justice is inseparable from social justice."

More or less the same is said by the group of Piketty who drafted a Manifesto for change of policies in Europe. Its second paragraph states: 

"The new European governance that has consolidated over the past decade in the wake of the financial crisis is not only opaque and unaccountable as epitomized by the Eurogroup; it is also ideologically biased towards economic policies with an almost exclusive focus on financial and budgetary objectives. Unsurprisingly, Europe has proved unable to take up the challenges with which it is confronted: growing inequalities across the continent, the acceleration of global warming, the influx of refugees, structural public under-investment (most notably in universities and research), tax fraud and evasion…"

And the fourth paragraph of the Piketty Manifesto states: 

"To date, European integration has primarily benefited the most powerful and most mobile economic and financial agents: major multinationals, households with high incomes and large assets. Europe will only reconnect with its citizens if it proves it has the ability to bring about genuine European solidarity, by having the main beneficiaries of the globalization process fairly contribute to the financing of the public goods Europe desperately needs."

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