Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet

There is a consensus that climate change is a problem of inequality. Reams of research show how the richest contribute more emissions than the poor. Yet, this methodology rooted in carbon footprint analysis of consumption and lifestyle deploys an impoverished class analysis based simply on one’s income and consuming power. In this talk, I argue for a Marxist class analysis of climate change rooted in the relation to the means of production. From this standpoint, the climate crisis is not primarily a problem of ‘believing science’ or individual ‘carbon footprints’—it is a problem rooted in who owns, controls and profits from material production. From this basis, I review the class formation currently driving, and not delivering climate policy (the professional class), and the class with the social potential to win transformative climate action (the working class).