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Keep it below 2°C: Presidents of Green parties worldwide launch joint proposals on climate change

Green Party Leaders Worldwide
Green Party Leaders Worldwide

Two days before the Climate Summit in Paris, 40 presidents of Green parties from all continents launch a powerful call for action. With a joint statement to 'keep it below 2°C’ (the IPCC target for limiting climate change) and one concrete and workable proposal per green party, the presidents want to put the climate summit and its challenges in the spotlight.

They declare in a joint statement the following: "The COP 21 summit in Paris has to be remembered as the summit where policy makers finally took real action. Following the lead of numerous citizens, NGOs and businesses that already took the challenge of climate change to heart, and are acting in numerous ways, it’s now up to political leaders to seize their historical responsibilities. Our proposals are painstakingly accomplishable, and the time for making excuses is over.” If global warming rises above 2°C, climate change will no longer be manageable.

According to the green party presidents the challenges are vast, but plentiful solutions are already at hand. Therefore, they each launch a single proposal in their country. There are a whole range of options, from divestment to mitigation. Depending on the characteristics of each country (location, demographics, geography but also its historical climate debt), the answers differ.

These are the participating countries and their green parties ( in alphabetic order):

1. Albania - Partia e Gjelber

2. Armenia - Green party of Armenia

3. Australia – Australian Greens

4. Austria -  Die Grünen

5. Canada – Green Party of Canada

6. Colombia (in name of Latin-American Greens)

7. Croatia – Orah

8. Denmark – Socialistisk Folkeparti

9. Estonia – Eestimaa Rohelised

10. Finland – Vihreät/De Gröna

11. Flanders (Belgium) – Groen

12. France – Les Verts

13. Georgia – Green Party of Georgia

14. Germany - Bündnis90/Die Grünen

15. Greece - Oikologoi Prasinoi

16. Hungary - Lehet Más a Politika

17. Italy – Verdi

18. Kyrgyzystan - Green Party of Kyrgyzystan

19. Lithuania – Lithuanian Green Party

20. Luxemburg – Déi Gréng

21. Malta - Alternattiva Demokratika

22. Moldavia - Partidul Verde Ecologist

23. Morocco – Les Verts Maroc

24. Mongolia -  Mongolyn Nogoon Nam

25. Montenegro- Zeleni Crne Gore

26. Pakistan – Pakistan Green Party

27. Poland – Zieloni

28. Portugal – Partido Ecologista ’Os Verdes’

29. Russia – Yabloko/Green Russia

30. Rwanda – Democratic Green Party of Rwanda

31. Senegal – Rassemblement des écologistes du Sénégal

32. Slovakia - Strana Zelených

33. Spain – EQUO

34. Switzerland – Grüne Partei Schweiz

35. Sweden – Miljöpartiet de gröna

36. The Netherlands – GroenLinks  - De Groenen

37. Tunisia – Green Tunisia

38. Turkey – Yesiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi

39. UK – Green Party Of England and Wales

40. Wallonia (Belgium) - Ecolo

Proposals on climate change

Albania: Despite the minimum values in global context, public transport in Albania remains one of the largest contributors to the environmental pollution in Albania. This damage would be very minimal if the right investimnets are done for the recovery of destroyed forest areas in these 25 years. By improving the quality of transport in regard of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere on the one hand and investing in natural cleaning air filters, Albania will contribute in the whole region to hold the low level of greenhouse gas emissions. concrete proposals are:  a) improvements in public transport by reducing up 25% the vehicle traffic within the city to replace it with ecological public transport, in a 5-year term; b) planting of 100 million forest trees in the next 5 years in the areas of destroyed forest

Australia: The Australian Greens lay out a plan to go from having one of the dirtiest to one of the cleanest energy systems in the world with 90% renewables by 2030. http://renewaustralia.org.au/

Colombia: Stop the Colombian National Development Plan because of its threat to water and life. Alianza Verde has filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court against 28 articles of the Plan, arguing that contains five so-called "environmental mistakes'' that violate the environment, but also the right of public information and collective participation.

Croatia: Broad national campaign against Oil drilling in Adriatic Sea as a concrete measure. "Research and drilling of the remaining fossil fuel beneath our feet represents the biggest threat to our mutual aspiration of "Keeping it below 2°C"! Croatia has great opportunities in tapping the potential in Green Economy and renewable energy. Why not to take them?! Campaign is gathering many stakeholders that are united in their stance against Government decision to allow research and drilling of oil from Adriatic Sea. Interpellation in the Croatian Parliament represented the formal procedure that focused public attention on the unwise decision by socialist government. Moreover, it has shown that there were many voices against this unreasonable initiative. The majority of Croatian citizens are against drilling because of imminent threat to environment both from direct oil spills or detrimental burning of the drilled oil that will contribute to global rise of Earth's temperature.

Denmark: The main focus at this time is expansion of renewable energy and electrification of society.

Estonia: Erakond Eestimaa Rohelised (Party Estonian Greens) stands for dramatic cut of carbon emissions from energy sector. Estonia is the world champion of oil shale mining and consumption. 80% of ecological footprint of our country is made of oli shale, mined about 19 million tonnes per year. Estonian oil shale or kukersite is nearly the lowest energetic value fossile fuel – more than twice less than coal. But carbon emission per kWh is even larger due to decomposition of carbonaceous mineral part in combustion process. Huge areas are devastated due to open-pit mining of oil shale and dumping the ashes from thermoelectric power plants. We, Estonian Greens, propose abandoning the outdated oil shale energetics, fully replacing it by renewable energy resources during next 10 years. Our country has enough wind, sunshine and biomass for that!

Flanders proposes a shift toward a circular economy that values sharing and peer2peerstructures.. As a very concrete step towards that zerowaste-economy we propose to counter planned obsolescence in de design of products, promote the repairability of goods, and lenghthen the warranty period. At the same time we would like to tackle the problem of mobility.Belgium holds the world cup title in subsidizing company cars. In order to give people back their freedom of choice and at the same time help save the environment, we transform the car subsidies of the happy few towards a mobility budget for everyone. https://www.groen.be/mobiliteitsbudget

Finland: make a shift in the economy. Unless we completely change the way we produce and consume energy within the following two decades, we will lose the battle against climate change. Fortunately change is still possible. The required technology already exists. Now all we need are decisions. Decisions on the international level, on state-level legislation, in company strategies and in the everyday lives of ordinary people.

France: Stop wasting money in nuclear dead-end and let's invest on our future with renewables. Nuclear energy is an expensive diversion from the task of developing renewable energy, energy efficiency and the more decentralised energy systems required for a low carbon future. The potential of renewable energy is vast and far greater than that of nuclear power or climate changing fossil fuels. They are clean, cheap, available now and don't have radioactive waste that we don't know how to deal with. The massive subsidies needed by the nuclear industry threaten to undermine the renewable energy revolution that is the real solution to climate change.

Germany: Divest from fossil energy within the financial (banking)system.  We call upon leaders to acknowledge the carbon bubble risk inherent in fossil fuel investments, and to move forward in support of the global carbon divestment movement.

Greece: Put climate into the budget debate. So that we stop selling natural resources out to private investigators for short term austerity reasons and stop mining projects that harm the environment and take us away from a green sustainable future.

Latin America/Partidos Verdes de las Américas y el mundo:  Stop anti-ecological mining that threathens and destroy the ecosystems in Latin-America. Stop the massive deforestation of the Amazon, the green lung of the world.  https://www.globalgreens.org/sites/globalgreens.org/files/DECLARACION%20DE%20LIMA.pdf

Lithuania: Lithuania has already exceeded commitments of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy production from renewable sources that were declared until 2020. Now we need more ambitious targets. The ambitious goals will  help us to attract modern, energy efficient investments and technologies, it will create more green jobs and help us to grow our economy. Europe could be climate friendly cradle of green solutions and green economy. 

Luxemburg: Using less energy isn't necessarily about making drastic lifestyle changes or sacrifices. Investing in new technologies to use cleaner energies and to promote a higher energy efficiency not only lowers bills and creates jobs but also benefits the global fight against climate change. So invest in sustainable innovation. Luxembourg also has to take its share in developing circular business models that must in the future replace our linear economy.

Malta: Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party of Malta proposes a shift from transport depending on fossil fuels to a sustainable mobility model. "Malta is choked with cars and a total lack of safe roads for those who use alternative means of transport. We are proposing: the conversion of public transport buses to electric buses and alternative and sustainable fuels; we propose a clear plan so that all private vehicles are electric by 2030; a light railway crossing Malta along the main routes and investment in bicycle and pedelec routes along all the major roads connecting all localities in Malta and Gozo.

Morocco: plant a million trees to prevent soil erosion and climate refugees.

Mongolia: In Mongolia we have mining of coal and also air pollution problem in cities, especially in capital Ulaanbaatar, which could be in winter time more than 10 times as used to be, because of heating of gers (yurts, Mongolian tent) with coal . Our call: stop COAL mining and use. The coal industry is arguably the poorest-performing sector in today's global economy.  

Pakistan: Implement land reforms equitable system of land tenure and to protect the tiller and cultivator from the excesses of the revenue administration and feudal exploitation.

Poland: We call for a thorough transformation of the energetic sector – away from carbon and other fossil fuels. Polish economy and people’s well-being demands green energy and that is why we support a gradual shift towards renewable sources. Only such a reasonable transformation can save us from an ecological catastrophe and only the green energy can help people take responsibility for their environment.

Portugal: Invest in public transport, more especially trains, by enhancing both quality, access and lines, disencourage car mobility in the city centers. 

Rwanda/ African Greens Federation: The impacts of extreme weather conditions have already made a negative impact on people’s livelihoods. Africa therefore needs to emphasize climate adaptation and finance to effectively deal with the effects of climate change. Adaptation should be the priority; climate change is already affecting our people, so if we have any emphasis, then it has to be on adaptation. African governments need to mainstream adaptation and mitigation issues into all national agendas. They need to define and support national policy frameworks, implement capacity building programs and funding for appropriate projects .African Governments need to be transparent and accountable in the management of climate funds. They need to strengthen national institutions, improve access to data and the accessing of funds on climate change adaptation in Africa. African Governments need to raise their own funds and be self-reliant. But the biggest pollutors must also fund an substantially bigger Green Climate Fund to help the developing countries suffering from climate change to adapt to the situation. So that we can stop illegal logging, make the shift to renewables and ensure the continent’s long term sustainable development agendas.

Governments need to involve all stakeholders, such as the youths, civil society, academia, private sector and other political actors among others. African solutions need to go beyond projects to resilient solutions. African states need to avoid the same mistakes that were made in the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. The new agreement should address all the mistakes of the Kyoto Protocol, if not then the Paris negotiations will bring nothing new and the hopes to global sustainable development would be jeopardized. COP21 has to be a moment of opportunity for Africa to assert itself in global climate governance and ensure that the outcomes of Paris are beneficial to African People.

Spain: La política energética de los últimos 4 años en España es lo opuesto a lo que necesitaríamos para construir un modelo energético que sea parte de la lucha contra el cambio climatico. Además de una apuesta decidida por las energías renovables, proponemos la derogación inmediata del decreto que penaliza en autoconsumo energético. La capacidad de cada persona de producir su propia energía es clave en la lucha contra el cambio climático y en la transformación hacia un modelo más justo y sostenible.

Tunisia: Create an international Climate Court.

Turkey: Stop big infrastructural projects and companies that destroy the landscape and cause massive erosion and landslides.

Senegal: stop illegal exploitation and logging of forests.

Switzerland: The Swiss Greens' proposal is an extra tax on CO2 emissions in order to generate the money needed for the Swiss contribution to the Green Climate Fund. Moreover, we demand that this contribution amounts to about 1 bio. $ per year i.e. 1 percent of total volume of the Green Climate Fund. This is an important subject in Switzerland as the Swiss government wants to relocate the money intended for development cooperation and use it for international climate finance for the poor countries.

The Netherlands – Groenlinks (Jesse Klaver): It is important to create safeguards to make sure that our governments commit to the climate goals they agree to. We have seen too often that the Dutch government agrees to ambitious goals on an international level, but when it comes to implementing climate measures the results are disappointing. Year after year, previously agreed to climate goals are watered down. We need legally binding climate targets to make sure we can hold our government accountable and make sure that our governments not only close deals on the international stage, but also reach the agreed climate goals at the domestic level.

The Netherlands - De Groenen (Otto Ter Haar): increase the production of electricity by parks of large windmills on the sand banks in the Southern Bight between England and the Netherlands.

UK, Natalie Bennett: “The UK government should as a part of a new Green National Infrastructure Programme provide a free nationwide retrofit insulation scheme, concentrating on areas where fuel poverty is most serious. This should insulate 9 million homes in total and take at least 2 million homes out of fuel poverty, aiming for the Passivhaus ultra low-energy refurbishment standard by 2020. “An investment of £45 billion over the course of the Parliament (including investment in training and awareness), to be delivered by local authorities and create well over 100,000 jobs. It will become part of a new Green National Infrastructure programme.

Wallonia: In Belgium the subsidies for fossil energy are estimated 9,5 milliards € (IMF). 6 times more than the subsidies for renewables. Let’s change this and use the money for the development of renewable energy.

 
Green Party Leaders Worldwide