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Looking backwards and forwards

Global Greens statutes signed at La Paz GGC meeting
Global Greens statutes signed at La Paz GGC meeting

Way back in 2001, at the first Global Greens Congress in Canberra, Reinhard Buetikofer proposed that the Greens should unite around a single battlecry – ‘save the climate’. This year we finally took our first real steps towards this aim. Not only is there huge potential for Greens locally and globally to connect and share common strategies for action on climate change and energy; it is imperative that we do so – climate change presents such an existential threat to humanity and to the ecosystems on which we depend.

This year also we began to follow the Greens’ fortunes in elections around the world and in a small way to cooperate, such as by encouraging diaspora communities to vote and vote Green in their home elections, and by campaigning directly. For example, the African Greens campaigned in Sweden; Greens from Australia helped recruit voters for the New Zealand election and the Scottish referendum. The potential to expand this kind of cooperation is enormous and there are plenty of elections coming in 2015 that will be contested by Greens, starting in January with Zambia followed by the UK, Canada and Turkey to name just a few.

In 2014 we have consolidated the Global Greens in line with our resolution from the Dakar 2012 Congress. Now, half-way to the next Congress in Europe in late 2016 or early 2017, our challenge is to build our capacity for working together and apply our limited resources so as to make a difference. The world needs Green ideas and values and it is both exciting and inspiring to be part of this global political movement which is also our Green family.

2014 in overview

2014 was the year that

  • the Global Greens became a legal entity, registered as an international non-profit organization in Belgium
  • we passed 5,000 people receiving Global Greens News and 10,000 liking us on facebook
  • we organised our first mini-campaign on climate change, a big part of which was encouraging Greens to be part of the worldwide People’s Climate Marches in September
  • we successfully crowdfunded to send Veronica to COP20 in Lima with donations from more than 60 people in 19 countries
  • the Global Greens made statements on a range of issues including nuclear disarmament and the Chernobyl anniversary, Ukraine, climate change, the Al Jazeera English journalists imprisoned in Egypt, the Gaza conflict, whaling and more
  • we launched FROGG – Friends of the Global Greens – supporters who donate regularly; you can see their pictures on the front page of the Global Greens website. So far we have FROGGs in 18 countries; will you join? click here
  • we established Global Greens News as a regular feature reporting Greens news and views from around the world
  • we farewelled Global Greens Secretary Alice Rosmi and welcomed her interim successor Veronica Juzgado

The Global Greens federations continued to strengthen. The Asia-Pacific Greens re-established a secretariat, now based in New Zealand, and will hold their next Congress there in June 2015; stay tuned for updates or contact the APGF for further information. The African Greens held their third Congress in Madagascar in June and established regional federations in Eastern and Central Africa. In Burkina Faso the Greens are represented in the National Transitional Council to prepare for elections in 2015 following the ousting of Président Blaise Compaoré. The Federation of Green Parties of the Americas held their 15th general assembly in Lima in November. The European GreensCouncil meeting in Istanbul Turkey elected Mar Garcia Sanz Secretary General, replacing outgoing Jacqueline Cremers, and welcomed two new member parties: Socialistisk Folkeparti (Denmark) and the new Croatian Green Party, ORaH.

Electorally, it was a year of mixed success. The Greens held their own in the European and New Zealand elections despite swings to conservative parties; but in Brazil a strong conservative wave resulted in the Greens falling back from 14 MPs to eight. In September the Swedish Greens also held their seats despite the rise of a populist anti-immigration party and for the first time formed government in coalition with the Social Democratic Party. Notably, the Scottish Greens’ role in promoting a yes vote for independence has kicked off a massive rise in membership that has flowed across the border to the UK. The Taiwan Greens achieved electoral success for the first time and now have two Green councillors while in Australia the Greens won a rare Senate by-election at the beginning of the year and capped it off by doubling their representation in the Victorian state parliament in November. Greens in Canada and the US are also contesting and winning municipal elections despite the disadvantage of a first past the post electoral system and the Bolivian Greens achieved a creditable result in their national elections.  

The Global Greens office is in the European Greens’ office in Brussels. Global Greens Secretary Alice Rosmi took up a new position in mid-2014 and was replaced on an interim basis by Veronica Juzgado. We thank both Alice and Veronica for their dedication to a challenging role. As Convener, I also give my heartfelt thanks to the members of the Global Greens Coordination meeting every few weeks by skype at odd hours of the day and night, to all donors and especially our FROGG members, and to the volunteers who help in so many ways. And to all of you – members of the Global Green family – thanks for your support and best wishes to you all for a Green 2015.

Margaret Blakers, Global Greens Convener

Global Greens statutes signed at La Paz GGC meeting

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