The Alliance for Jobs and Climate is running the SHIFT campaign joining, amplifying and bringing together different groups from across civil society around two fundamental demands for an end to austerity:
- Massive Investment in Jobs
- Massive Investment in Renewable Energy.
Our two most urgent challenges are the economy and the environment. Nearly a quarter of young people are unemployed in the UK. Climate breakdown is happening far faster than most scientists predicted even a decade ago. Between June and September in 2012, food commodity prices went up 50%. Millions now face an uncertain future after three decades of slash and burn deregulation has left the economy and many of our communities in tatters.
Success for our two demands means building a sustainable future. Putting millions to work in decent, meaningful employment, building the infrastructure to help tackle spiralling climate change. Success means investing in ordinary working people rather than cutting back to rescue the banks. At the moment the banks call the shots, they continue to act on perverse and destructive incentives, mortgaging our futures and profiting from the wealth they took from the rest of us while making us even more insecure.
To end the current crises and provide a decent world for our children, we need a Power SHIFT. On a physical level this means a shift from fossil fuel energy to genuine renewables. Hence we support the call for a Zero-Carbon Britain by 2030, which must be replicated across the major industrialised countries. For this Power SHIFT to be possible we need a shift of political and economic power back from the 1% to the 99%; from the giant fossil-fuel companies, the bankers, the city, ‘the market’ to ordinary working people.
For this to be possible we need to remember how major changes have come about in the past 200 years; from the abolition of slavery, to the rights of women, to decent working conditions, to weekends, to the NHS – the list goes on. These advances were the product of we, ‘the 99%’, working together.
The Alliance can play a pivotal role to coordinate a movement amongst the many groups and millions of people concerned about the environment and the economy, recognising that unity will invest the movement with power and allow all groups to prosper. At the same time we must keep working to show how the different components inter-relate, and that the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. [see resources: climate coalition principles]
Power SHIFT is the name we have given to the underlying vision. It is an attempt to inspire the many individuals groups and organisations fighting for change, and many more besides who see the corruption in the current system but who have been made to feel that they can’t make a difference, to come together to build a mass-movement big enough and visible enough to bring about the sensible systematic solutions to the problems we face. Through publicly demonstrating, as we have for 200 years, we show ourselves, each other, and the wider public that we both care and are prepared to act, in order to help create the social movement for change that is so sorely needed.
We must quite simply SHIFT power away from these largely unaccountable economic interests back to the 99%; to a genuine and accountable democracy.