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Contribution on united front webinar by Nick CPA (ML) Australia


Dear Comrades, 

There have been two significant impacts on the environmental movement in Australia. 

Firstly, the spearhead of the movement in recent years, the secondary school students “Strike for Climate” has been blunted by the advent of the Coronavirus epidemic and the associated restrictions on mass gatherings. It is yet to be seen whether the momentum of this movement can be reinvigorated as the restrictions of the pandemic are eased. In part, this reflects a failure of the movement to place itself under working class leadership.  Although the peak union body here, the Australian Council of Trade Unions ten or so years ago issued the call “Climate Change is Union Business”, in practice little was done to link environmental activism with the working class. 

Secondly, we had a federal election here earlier this year in which the Labor Party replaced the Liberal-National Coalition as the governing party. The Labor Party has its origins in social-democracy, but it has always been a party of capitalism. It has aggressively championed neo-liberal deregulation and privatisation, and openly champions the US-Australia alliance. It had a marginally better position on reducing carbon emissions than the Liberals, but it fell short of many people’s expectations with the result that both the Greens and a number of independent candidates who made climate change a major policy plank won seats in parliament. 

Our task is to try and win workers to the view that they must take charge of the environmental movement, and try to tie the environmental movement to the struggle against imperialism and for socialism.  Our anti-imperialist work currently focusses on opposing the AUKUS arrangements and Australia’s involvement in the QUAD.  

Nick G. 

CPA (M-L) 


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