Jeremy Corbyn: Only the Green Industrial Revolution can save this planet

Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the MeRA25 Congress in Athens following the presentation of the Athens Declaration.

The former leader of the Labour Party pledged his support for victims of war and backed a New Non-Aligned Movement.

Corbyn discussed socialism, the conflicts raging across the world, NATO and the Green Industrial Revolution, among other things.

“There are four points I’d make about socialism, if I may: peace, justice, humanity and our relationship to the natural world,” he said.

“Peace is not just the absence of war, but peace is something we have to always work for and strive for what’s happening now in the Ukraine is wrong by any stretch of the imagination under any way you care about.

“The invasion [of Ukraine] is wrong. The occupation is wrong. The bombing is wrong. The killing is wrong. And the destruction of so much life of people in Ukraine, there can be no defence whatsoever. The statement we put forward today from the Progressive International, which I’m honoured to be a member of the council have made that very clear.

“All wars have to end at some point. All wars end with some kind of conference negotiation or process. Why oh why did the UN take so long to even call for a ceasefire? Why have so many of the world’s leaders been using the language of war and aggression when they should be using the language of demanding a ceasefire to stop the killing and give some hope to the people of Ukraine and to the Russian soldiers that are also dying there.

“Because the longer it goes on the more the deaths, the more the destruction, the more, the hatred that will follow and the economic and environmental consequences of this war. Food prices are rising, and many across North Africa and the Middle East will be desperately hungry. Later this year, when the wheat supplies don’t arrive from Russia and the Ukraine to make their bread, and the prices will go up all over the world as a result of it, it needs serious intervention to bring about a ceasefire and bring about peace for the people of the Ukraine.”

Corbyn made a note of reminding that the Ukraine conflict is not the only travesty taking place in the world.

“There are many other wars going on. Sadly, there are more than 40 different conflicts going on at the present time. Think of the decades of war in Yemen, the killing that’s going on in Yemen and the destruction of life that’s gone on there. The war in Syria, the war in Libya, the terrible conflict in Iraq, all of these conflicts, fuelled by the arms trade and they all create massive numbers of victims – occupation of one country by another creates occupation.”

Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was tragically killed by Israeli forces last week, and Corbyn spoke in solidarity with her family and the Palestinian people as a whole, before calling for an end to the occupation.

“Today we mourn the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, a journalist from Al-Jazeera killed shot in the head by Israeli occupying forces on the Westbank, where she was reporting on the lives of Palestinians. “She follows sadly many others that have been killed as a result of that occupation. And today, even at her funeral, the Israeli armed forces managed to disrupt the funeral.

“And even the coffin fell to the ground as a result of it. Today, our sympathies, our solidarity are with her and her family, but also with the Palestinian people. The occupation must end. It cannot go on. It is not sustainable.

“So it’s our solidarity with the victims of war, but when the fighting stops and the occupying forces have withdrawn, that is never the end of the story.”

Corbyn lamented the role of the arms manufacturers’ role in global conflicts.

“The U.S. has just passed the biggest ever defence budget. NATO member states are being encouraged to go to two percent and above of their gross national income as part of defence expenditure. And when a conflict goes on, the arms manufacturers pressurise their government to spend more and buy more. And it doesn’t matter what country you’re in.

“They all do it. They do it in Russia. They do it in Europe. They do it in the USA. They all pressurised for it. The arms trade then becomes a pressure of itself for conflicts and wars.

“And so what we were talking about this morning at the conference that we did here in Athens, was about looking to a future where you wind down the idea that military alliances bring peace and you bring forward the idea that you cooperate together and you deal with the social economic, and environmental problems that people face.

“The idea is that we get rid of nuclear weapons once and for all, there is no defence. There is only the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

“We have to get rid of nuclear weapons altogether.”

Corbyn feels that the green industrial revolution has to be a major priority for the world.

“You get that [green future] by advanced technology, you get that by giving people a real stake in a greener, more sustainable [future]. It can be done, but it can’t be done if we stick to the titled ‘free market’ economies of inequality, injustice, and, and built in poverty to it.

“We are the green industrial revolution that has to be the slogan of the left all over the world.”

Watch Jeremy Corbyn’s full talk below


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