From Climate Justice to Just Transition
There is talk of a just transition in Europe under the name of the Green New Deal. In this context, cities and living spaces have started to be replanned, from the allegedly zero waste to the circular economy. In fact, the European Union (EU) focused on a new growth strategy that would transform its economy with the 'European Green Deal' on 11 December 2019. The actual name for this is green capitalism.
As we leave the year 2021 behind, we are living in days where we have economic difficulties. This is related to the country’s economic policy as well as to global climate change. Of course, the destruction of the habitats we are a part of is not only about carbon emissions and the economy. With the corona, green transformation has become more openly spoken all over the world. This health crisis is directly related to carbon emissions and the plundering of natural habitats. Even if the subject is handled sincerely, the issue of global climate change will remain on the main axis ecologically and economically for several generations.
Capitalism Doesn’t Keep the Tree If Its Shadow Can’t Be Sold
As we know, the capitalist system, which is based on consumption and plunder, works with the motto of ‘Grow or die’. Small and self-sufficient production that does not harm the environment has no place in a capitalist growth economy. Especially in the last 2 years, investments for the Green New Deal have started to be made in the United States under the management of Joe Biden, but these investments are made by fossil fuel barons such as Chevron and British Petroleum, which make large-scale renewable energy investments in the USA. How can it be in the interest of the planet that these companies, which have always been in favor of centralism and militarism, are regulated according to these so-called environmentalist rules in the national and international economy? And some environmentalists are in search of a more just capitalism. However, we know that capitalism doesn’t keep the tree if its shadow can’t be sold.
In this context, there is talk of a just transition in Europe under the name of the Green New Deal. In this context, cities and living spaces have started to be replanned, from the allegedly zero waste to the circular economy. In fact, the European Union (EU) focused on a new growth strategy that would transform its economy with the ‘European Green Deal’ on 11 December 2019. The actual name for this is green capitalism.
What Does Just Transition Mean?
Just transition can be summarized as how to achieve the issue of ensuring production and consumption without waste, because this is how to repair the future and reduce carbon emissions. But especially do groups such as people with disabilities, women, immigrants, refugees, different ethnic groups, those with different sexual orientations, children, young people, etc. have the right to have a first-hand say in their own future?
Will countries like ours accept less justice in a just transition? What about the African or Asian people who are most affected by the climate crisis of the global south but whose carbon emissions are negligible? With Turkey’s approval of the Paris Agreement in October, the name of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization was changed to ‘Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change’ with the Presidential decree published in the Official Gazette. New carbon calculations came to the fore in order to trade internationally. In this direction, the Green Deal Action Plan is being prepared, but I think we have seen in the past 20 years, especially in our country, that the Global North has switched to the service and tourism industry, which is called the smokeless industry, and has led to the exploitation of nature with activities such as mining imposed under the name of encouraging foreign investments in the global south. Of course, it is not right to relate everything to globality. Central and local governments also have a large share in this. Now, how will these looted natural habitats get a share of the Green Deal? Will the activities be stopped, and restoration will be made? The armed attack on the Coşkun family, who resisted the mining quarry in Topçam village of Aydın’s Çine district, is still on our agenda. Nature defenders are making efforts so that a second Büyüknohutçu disaster does not happen. It is claimed that a couple who resisted the quarry in Antalya were killed by the miners’ hitman. Will breathing be created in the lives of people who try to defend their living spaces at the expense of their lives in Anatolia?
Or will the areas where concrete buildings ‘grow’ increase instead of growing food with suitable nutritional value in fertile soils with the concretization and construction sector, parceled out with the assembly industry in the mines?
While global Europe has given up on coal, thermal power plants are still being built in our country. Investments are being made to extend the life of existing ones like those in Muğla for another 25 years. This means more air pollution, more carbon emissions, and more attacks on habitats.
In short, don’t accept the Green Deal. We must be vigilant so that there will be no new double standard.