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How imperialism drives the climate catastrophe | Decolonial Learning Session #14

Towards a people’s green new deal

Nearly a billion people have no access whatsoever to electricity, whilst the rich are embarking on space trips and fantasize about colonizing mars. Yet the climate crisis is not just marked by economic inequality. It is marked by imperialism. 92 percent of the climate catastrophe engulfing the planet is caused by Global North, robbing formerly colonized countries of the atmospheric space required to ensure humane living standards. To make matters worse, every year immense amounts of resources and labor-power are drained from the Global South to the Global North, to maintain a wasteful consumption lifestyle that is killing the planet.

This fossil-based capitalism is backed by a massive imperial army of NATO, a bloc of rich countries spending more on the military than the rest of the world combined. A bloc that is invading nations, overthrowing governments and brutally sanctioning entire peoples that refuse to bow down. Proposals for a Green New Deal that do not tackle imperialism are bound to fail, exacerbating a system that is marked by climate apartheid. Max Ajl will be joining us to unpack the various Green New Deal proposals that are out there, and help us find out what an anti-imperialist climate strategy could look like.

For the audio recording, click here.

Bio: Max Ajl

Max Ajl is the author of the critically acclaimed book A People’s Green New Deal, which scrutinizes the most famous green new deal proposals and offers an eco-socialist and anti-imperialist alternative. Max is an associated researcher with the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment, an associate editor at Agrarian South & Journal of Labor and Society, and a postdoctoral fellow with the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University. He is currently working on a book about the role of peasants in the underknown Tunisian revolution of 1942-1956. Throughout his work, Max focusses on national liberation, peasant struggles and anti-imperialism.

Additional reading:

> A People’s Green New Deal, by Max Ajl, 2021. Click here.

> People’s Agreement of Cochabamba at World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, April 22nd, Cochabamba, Bolivia. Click here.

> The Age of Imperialism is Not Over—But We Can End It, Click here. 

> “Quantifying national responsibility for climate breakdown: an equality-based attribution approach for carbon dioxide emissions in excess of the planetary boundary” by Jason Hickle in The Lancet Planetary Health, 2020. Click here. 

> Red Vegans Against Green Peasants, New Socialist, Click here. 


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