While the right wing groups of the European Parliament refuse to let climate activist Greta Thunberg speak in the plenary, the six parties of the European alliance “Now the people!” unite to back up the Youth for Climate movement by proposing eight radical actions to fight climate change.
Tomorrow, when more than a thousand school strikes are planned across the world to raise awareness and demand actions to fight climate change, six parties – La France Insoumise (FR), Bloco de Esquerda (PT), Enhedslisten (DK), Podemos (ES), Vasemmisto (FI) and Vänsterpartiet (SE) – show their support to the global movement by proposing eight concrete measures to save the planet.
Among their demands are binding climate targets to enable the European Union to reach the goal of zero emissions by 2040. Another necessary measure to reach the climate goals is a change of the EU treaties that the survival of the planet is always prioritized over the interests of the internal market of the European Union. The parties also call for a European green investment plan to finance the ecological transition of the economy.
– The politicians have for far too long done far too little to prevent climate change. I fully understand the frustrations of the youth and wholeheartedly support the global climate strikes today. We do not have time for more lofty speeches. We need climate action now, says Nikolaj Villumsen MP and MEP candidate of the Red-Green Alliance, Denmark.
– Today is a great opportunity for us politicians to show all the brave and determined young people who demand action to fight climate change that not only do we listen, but we are also ready to act, says Malin Björk, MEP for Vänsterpartiet, Sweden.
– It is historical, the youth is guiding us and is showing the way, the youth doesn’t want to be dragged into this blind march led by the blind and that hurls us all to the precipice. The youth understood that time has come for climate justice: 1, 2, 3 degrees is a crime against humanity! says Younous Omarjee, MEP for La France Insoumise, France.
– Climate action needs to be mainstream, both in politics and society. For many years we, the progressive and ecological forces, have really worked to change things but we still need more people to join the fight. We welcome all these young voices that are bravely fighting for their future. The planet needs all of us, says Marisa Matias, MEP for Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal.
– Money is a big issue effecting heavily in climate work. Fossil fuels and other fossil products get millions of euros of EU-level subsidies every year. Instead, we need more support to climate-friendly ways of production, for example to create a green energy sector, says Merja Kyllönen, MEP for Vasemmisto, Finland.
– The student strike clearly denounces how the European Union is not up to the challenge posed by climate change. Its message is clear: we must assume that we are in a climate emergency and that a drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is needed. We want to show not only support for the mobilized youth in defense of the mere existence of the future, but also to denounce the hypocrisy and the criminal inaction of the European Union in the face of climate change. We cannot continue with the same bad policies that have gotten us into this disaster. We have to accelerate the energy transition and the change of economic and social system. We must stop burning fossil fuels and guarantee social justice. We have to change the system itself, says Miguel Urban Crespo for Podemos, Spain.
Ahead of the European elections in May, the six parties have launched a declaration called Now The People. In it, the parties propose measures to create a more just, equal and ecologically sustainable Europe. Read the declaration here
For more information, please contact: Nikolaj Villumsen; +45 6162 5099.
The six parties in Now the people are calling for:
- Binding climate targets Zero emissions by 2040, start by cutting 65 percent of CO2 emissions in the EU by 2030. Implement binding rules and require the wealthiest and the most polluting multinationals to pay more.
- A Change in the European treaties Prioritize the climate over internal market freedoms and deficit and debt rules in the EU treaties.
- A Green Investment Plan: Launch a massive public investment plan for a 100 percent renewable energy model, to renovate housing, tackle energy poverty and put energy sobriety forward.
- Green transports: Develop the transport system and establish a free public transport system; invest in local railways for rebalancing territories; give preference to rail freight; establish a European Train Fund to develop connections between Europe’s capitals; introduce a progressive aviation tax in all EU countries; ban the sales of new fossil fuel cars in the EU by 2030.
- A new agricultural model: Guarantee good quality food and promote local and ecological agriculture; end the use of pesticides; promote short food supply chains.
- The end of the practices that are destroying our planet: Stop fuel subsidies; stop free-trade agreements like CETA; unmask greenwashing and fight against false solutions like nuclear energy, “natural” gas, geoengineering and the carbon market; prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure (production, transport and storage).
- Water and energy accessible to all: Recognize water and energy as common goods; nationalize and democratize the production and distribution of electricity.
- Protection of wildlife and nature: Protect biodiversity and natural areas inside and outside Europe.