Towards the VI International Ecosocialist Meeting

VI Ecosocialist Meeting

First published at CADTM.

On 9, 10 and 11 May 2024, the VI International Ecosocialist Meeting and the I Latin American and Caribbean Ecosocialist Meeting will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

What is ecosocialism and what does it advocate?

Our aim is to put the (vast) theoretical and political ecosocialist trajectory of the North and South into dialogue. Ecosocialism is a political doctrine that emerged during the transition from the 20th to the 21st century and articulates the fundamental ideas of Marxist socialism with those emerging from climate struggles. Ecosocialists believe that capitalism is a system that is intrinsically harmful to both society and the environment. It is both a theoretical and practical movement.

According to Ramón Fernández Durán, we are facing a new historical era marked by the impact of the “human species” on planet Earth: the Anthropocene, or rather the Capitalocene. There is little doubt that it is not the entire human species that is acting in this way, but certain components of it that are driven and conditioned by a system - global capitalism - that is highly stratified, with vastly different responsibilities and impacts depending on the societies, social classes and individuals that comprise it.

The global ecological and geomorphological system has been altered for the first time in history. The main geomorphological force behind this is the current capitalist mode of production, distribution, and consumption, which is based on “endless” growth and accumulation. This affects not only the features and characteristics of the Earth’s rivers, seas, and oceans, but also the scale, diversity, and complexity of the planet’s biodiversity.

The prospects are uncertain, but its impact will certainly last for centuries or millennia, and will influence all future developments. It is hard not to remember Fidel Castro declaring at a United Nations summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992:

An important biological species is at risk of disappearing due to the rapid and progressive liquidation of its natural living conditions: man.

Now we are aware of this problem when it is almost too late to prevent it.

While the possibility of a socio-ecological collapse is frightening, it is obvious that this system and our way of life will eventually fall apart. Creating these alternative worlds that prioritise social, ecological, and climate justice is a challenge that inspires and motivates us as we observe anti-capitalist movements taking place globally. To revolutionise every aspect, dissidents, workers, youth, women, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, peasants, and scientists are resisting and battling. They denounce the obscene accumulation of capital and the defence of the rights of a small minority that appropriates and destroys our common goods.

Simply surviving is not an option. We have the tools and the will to build an alternative to the hegemonic forms of capitalism - neoliberal, colonial, extractivist, racist and patriarchal - we see today so that we can achieve harmony with the nature of which we are a part and enjoy life fully and with dignity.

The meeting will include panels, workshops, plenary sessions and spaces for exchange between collectives, activists and organisations involved in the struggle, in order to move forward collectively towards an agenda and a programme of struggle for ecosocialism.

The idea is to continue, in the context of Nuestra América, the debates based on the five previous meetings held in Europe.

We understand that the diversity that characterises us as organisations defending the commons and fighting for a world without exploitation is our greatest strength. For this reason, for the main debates, it will be possible to connect online, making it easier for those who cannot attend in person to participate.

Below are the main themes of the programme:

May 9

We’ll be taking part in the general strike called by the trade unions to oppose the policies of Javier Milei’s far-right government. There will be no activities.

May 10

9:30 am - 10:30 am 
History of the International Ecosocialist Meeting

11 am - 12:30 pm
Workshop 1: Extractivism in the Brazilian wild and water scarcity
Workshop 2:Environmental racism
Workshop 3: Eco-Marxist debates

1:30 pm - 3 pm
Workshop 1: Free trade and the environment: An unsurmountable contradiction for capitalism?
Workshop 2: Against dispossession, the plundering of bodies and territories.
Workshop 3: Climate change and militarism

3:15 pm - 4:45 pm
Workshop 1: Climate, science and ecosocialism
Workshop 2: Rights and ecosocialist transition
Workshop 3: Debt and the financialisation of nature

5 pm - 7 pm 
Criminalisation and social struggles

May 11

9:30 am - 11 am 
The ecosocialist debate in the center and the periphery

11:15 am– 12:30 pm 
COP 30: First meeting of Latin America and the Caribbean

1:30 pm - 3 pm
Workshop 1: Food sovereignty: agroecology as political practice
Workshop 2: Energy and capitalism

3:15 pm - 4:45 pm 
Workshop 1: Ecofeminism
Workshop 2: Class perspectives on the energy transition

5pm - 7pm
Towards a major international ecosocialist movement

This 1st Latin American and Caribbean Ecosocialist Meeting aims to give continuity to ecosocialist debates based on the region’s issues and territories and intends to follow up with the 2nd Meeting at COP 30, to be held in Belem, Brazil, next year.

It’s not easy to organise this 6th International Ecosocialist Meeting in Argentina. The context is becoming more complex by the day, with the advance of an extreme right that aims to destroy the rights won over years of struggle by workers, trade unions, and feminist, social, environmental, and human rights organizations that have fought—and continue to fight—for more democracy and popular sovereignty in the face of dictatorships and neoliberal projects. However, this whole scenario also invites us to build possible horizons based on socio-political and ecological struggles from below and to the left.

Today, more than ever, Argentina, Latin America, and the Caribbean need internationalist support and solidarity. That’s why we hope to count on the presence of many comrades for a fraternal debate that will help us move forward toward radical social change.

Let’s build this urgent and necessary alternative together!
See you in Buenos Aires!

Maria Elena Saludas is a member of ATTAC/CADTM Argentina