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[Global Greens statement] Climate Change is Our Priority Now

Miljöpartiet de gröna's 2018 election poster
Miljöpartiet de gröna's 2018 election poster

2018’s extreme heat, drought and wildfires are on all continents and hemispheres, impacting our livelihoods, agriculture and ecosystems with each heat record broken.  In July 2018 alone we experienced 3,092 new daily high temperatures, 159 new monthly heat records and 55 all-time highs worldwide, according to the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  This includes the hottest 24-hour temperature ever felt on Earth, recorded in Oman (42.6℃), and Africa's hottest recorded temperature (51.3℃), in Algeria.

These record temperatures affect us in big ways; in July more than 300 people died from weather-related disasters and 45,700 people went to the hospital for heatstroke in Japan alone, according to Bloomberg.  In Iran, the heatwave led to an unprecedented demand on the power grid causing more than 34,000 homes losing power. And in the United States, Europe and the Arctic droughts catalysed unprecedented wildfires.

The Global Greens Ambassador, Christine Milne, adds that “the Great Barrier Reef is dying and extreme drought besets Australia as the Northern hemisphere swelters and fires burn even in the Arctic, yet democracies beholden to fossil fuel corporations fail to respond fast enough. Across the planet, in whichever Parliament we stand, only the Greens say it is a climate emergency and call for systemic change, protection of the biosphere and rapid transition to net carbon zero and 100% Renewable Energy.  The climate cannot wait. To ensure a healthy, safe future for people and the planet one must vote Green at every possibility - from Scandinavia to Sydney and from Santiago to Seoul.”

The Global Greens is the network of Green parties around the world working cooperatively at the local, national, regional and global levels to understand and address these issues through political action.  The following statement gives an insight into the experience, impacts and urgency of climate change occurring right now in each region of the world.


In Europe - “Now - the climate cannot wait”

Sweden's local and national elections will be held on 9 September following the hottest and driest summer ever on record in Sweden, and the political parties are finding themselves in heated debate as well.  Isabella Lövin, the Co-Spokesperson of the Green Party of Sweden Miljöpartiet de gröna (MP), remarks that Sweden’s political landscape is becoming increasingly aggressive and populist; where unfounded allegations, fake arguments and deliberate misinterpretations are the new normal, rather than a debate on facts and disagreement on substance. Miljöpartiet de gröna is prepared to have an honest debate with those who have different views. But to parties who still think everything is going to remain the same in a two degree hotter world, the Greens are telling them to wake up.

Miljöpartiet de gröna have been in Sweden’s national government the previous four years and has already delivered major advancements in climate adaptation and mitigation - including more than doubling Sweden’s climate and environment investments.  MP also managed to pass new climate laws and new climate goals with broad political support. With current population scenarios, these goals imply that emissions in Sweden will be at one tonne per capita by 2045 by the latest. Sweden will now deliver emission cuts that go far beyond our EU-wide commitment in the Paris agreement and far beyond Kyoto protocol commitments.

MP wants Sweden to demonstrate to the world that a fossil-free welfare state with a strong and growing economy, and where we care for each other and the planet, is possible and that it is better and safer for all of us. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Nature can only give us so much, but we also have to give back only one small amount of decency towards animals, other people and future generations. 

In the Americas

The Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas affirms that “preserving the ecosystems of Latin America and the Caribbean is essential to maintaining the ecological balance of the planet because this region has the greatest biodiversity and freshwater reserves on the planet.  Effects of climate change and increasing temperatures have been impacting the region for decades, as evidenced by an increase in hurricanes, the retreat of practically all tropical glaciers and severe droughts in the Amazon. The largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, the major economies of the planet, have the main responsibility to solve the climate change crisis. Latin America and the Caribbean continue to affirm their commitment to the planet, to prevent deforestation and to advance the implementation of Green energy.”

Canadian Greens Leader and Federal Parliamentarian Elizabeth May adds that Canada is acutely affected by climate change as well.  Since 1948 Canada has warmed by 1.6 degrees, which is twice the global rate, and this is most pronounced in our western and northern regions. Our summers remind us of the devastating effects of wildfires. Drought, permafrost melt and disease are increasing problems for Canadians; and flooding endangers some 1.7 million Canadian households. In May 2018, the Federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development released a report indicating that Canada is not on track to meet its climate change targets, including our commitment to the Paris targets. And yet the Liberal government is trying to buy two pipelines putting us further behind. The world needs climate leaders and the Greens have the courage, vision and ability to recognize and fix the problems.”

 

In Asia

The Korean Greens assert that “unless we work together with other countries to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions, this will happen every year, and its intensity will grow.  The Greens have consistently recognised that a climate change policy is needed to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The heatwave should awaken our societies to the urgency of responding to climate change.  The government and all political parties should be working on meeting the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperatures beneath 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

Currently, global average temperatures are already over 1-degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  Scientists warn that the hothouse trajectory we are on will make living conditions intolerable in many parts of the world, including a sea level rise that will submerge vast coastal regions under water.  “It’s now urgent to greatly accelerate the transition towards an emission-free world economy,” concludes an international team of scientists.  The Global Greens observes that deforestation is both a cause and consequence of climate change and thus local and global reforestation and climate programs should be implemented as a necessary component of national legislation.  While global negotiations continue at COP24 in Poland this December on how to implement the Paris Agreement, the Global Greens calls on voters to vote Green in 2018 at local and national elections everywhere and at the EU elections in 2019 because climate change is now a matter of first priority for our politics.


Miljöpartiet de gröna's 2018 election poster
"Now - The Climate Cannot Wait" - Miljöpartiet de gröna's 2018 election poster

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