Commentary. An internationalized Green New Deal project would demand the creation of millions of new jobs at all skill levels, requiring the participation not only of unemployed and underemployed native-born residents but the victims of Western wars who have fled their homes in search of new horizons.

A single project to save the planet and welcome refugees

They wage wars to seize oil, and then use that oil to wage more wars. (The worldwide greenhouse gas emissions from military sources amount to 15% of the total but were not included in the commitment targets of the Paris Agreement.) Wars lead to refugees, then more wars are waged to get rid of the refugees—as is happening now in Rojava.

Oil and fossil fuels are imprisoning the whole of humanity in a condition of dependence on wars, and this is now a core element of the human condition in our time. Meanwhile, refugees and migrants are imprisoning governments and peoples who are unwilling to welcome them into a dependence on militias and rogue states who are contracted to “keep them away.” With the attack on Rojava, the subordinate condition of the European Union in relation to Turkey was put into stark relief.

While this tragedy revealed it in all its deadly implications, it was already clear ever since the signing of the Erdogan-Merkel pact in 2016. Likewise, the “immigration policy” of Italy’s alternating governments, and of all Europe, was entrusted to criminal gangs (the concentration camp guards of the twenty-first century), given free rein to engage in enslavement, extortion, serial rape and the destruction of the dignity and the lives of others as a reward for their assigned task.

For all governments in the EU, it has become difficult now to invoke the oft-repeated mantra of “I didn’t know.” The war in Rojava is putting Europe and its peoples before the stark truth: that is, the extermination of scattered and desperate peoples in the name of defending borders, i.e. other peoples’ “way of life.” But the true goal of this policy is, in the end, to “eliminate them all.”

Someone who has admitted this explicitly (but not the only one to do so) is Vittorio Feltri, who wrote in Libero on October 12: “The problem is simpler than it appears: if we stop rescuing those who take their chances at sea, sooner or later they will stop venturing into the waters, and the story of this invasion will soon end.”

Europe is doing exactly what Feltri is writing about here, while leaving it to the likes of him to say it out loud. However, it’s not working: the departures from Libya are not decreasing even when there is no one at sea to rescue the survivors, and many of the refugees and migrants who make it to Italy arrive alone, on small boats. What do you propose we should do with them, Mr. Feltri? Murder them on the shore, or take them back to sea and drown them ourselves?

And all the others who say they are opposed to the criminal policies of rejection, but then return again to the oft-invoked “common sense” notion that “it’s not possible to accommodate all of them,” are guilty of a hypocritical silence, because there is no middle ground to be found between these two approaches: tertium non datur.

Because the issue of the migrants has become the number one issue throughout Europe, it is here (not regarding the deficit or the public debt) that our country’s submissiveness towards the other EU partners manifests itself the most. They are content with playing the role of being “outraged” while Italy takes up the dirty work of killing on their behalf, as it did under Salvini. In any case, they are determined to keep as many desperate people as possible trapped in our country, working to stop them from crossings the Alps. Summits and promises come and go, but the policy of the EU remains the same. If anything, it’s getting worse. And for Greece, whatever happens next, the situation is already worse than ours, and it will be even more so.

It’s no use for us to play the victim (of an unjust policy) or the beggar (for a fairer distribution of those arriving), and even less productive to agree to this subordination in exchange for some concessions regarding the deficit. Europe’s migration policy must be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up, with a proposal that would, first of all, take the unbearable weight of stigma off the migrants’ shoulders.

The climate and environmental crisis offers us a great opportunity. Austerity policies must be abandoned: they are incompatible with the fight for the ecological conversion, which requires a large investment plan that would offer a framework and support for millions of local projects needed to tackle the transition to decarbonized energy production, agriculture, mobility and local territories: a Green New Deal which would be a flagship model for all the other regions of the world, but which cannot have as its protagonists only—or even primarily—governments and businesses; because, first and foremost, it requires that an active role be played by the people, their organizations, their communities and even their conflicts. There is no alternative, except to continue on the course toward to the destruction of human life on our planet (the only one we have).

The project of a Green New Deal, which is the centerpiece of all the movements that are fighting for radical change in connection with the climate and the environment nowadays, and whose numbers will only grow more and more, on pace with the deterioration of the climate, demands the creation of millions of new jobs at all skill levels: thus, it will also include—in addition to the native-born unemployed, underemployed and temporary workers, and those who will lose their current jobs in industries which must be shut down, starting with the arms industry—hundreds of thousands, and later millions, of migrants and refugees.

Such a plan would make them all citizens of a great community, which will unite their countries of arrival and those of departure in one single “nation,” and in which everyone, whether native-born, immigrant or newcomer, can fight at each other’s side for peace and for the rehabilitation of the countries devastated by damaging climate and environmental policies, the depredation of local resources and wars.

The mobilization in support of the people of Rojava, alongside the Kurdish communities throughout Europe, and the support that the movements fighting for the environment and ecological conversion are offering them, gives us a clear direction for how we can jointly tackle the climate, social justice and migration.

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