System Change, Not Climate Change

Text of proposal passed at the Another Europe National Conference 2021.

The following proposal was passed at the Another Europe National Conference 2021.

Proposal 2

Years of an unrestrained global economy, driven by the capitalism and industry of the world’s wealthiest countries, have squandered the right for future generations around the world to live on a healthy, bio-diverse planet. 

In our immediate future, larger, ever more frequent and extreme climate events will continue to put pressure on our economic, social and political structures. Meanwhile autocracy and nationalistic populism is growing, often with climate sceptics at the forefront. The challenges of our changing climate highlight the lack of climate justice and its geographic and racial inequalities. The global south is yet again being sacrificed, and we, in Europe, have to own our colonial past, our greed, our unfettered consumerism and our responsibility in this current and growing disaster, and ensure reparations. 

We must also increase our fight for the rights of refugees and migrants fleeing not only conflict and persecution but increasingly, climate and economic crisis. All climate policy going forward needs to take into account that there is no climate justice without social justice. The climate crisis is also a crisis of racism.

We believe that the changes outlined here must be urgently implemented. We commit to working with our allies across Europe (and the world) to campaign and to amplify a unified call for change: 

  1. To hold our governments accountable to end support for fossil fuels, divest from current projects and fund a just transition to renewable energy. We demand Zero Carbon policies, not Net Zero. 
  2. The climate crisis requires immediate political and industry responses and cannot only be left to individual responsibility. We must continue to campaign for climate treaties to be binding, and for countries who do not respect their commitments to face sanctions. 
  3. Agree a ‘Loss and Damage’ facility; the polluter must pay for pollution in a way that ensures the transformation of our economic system away from polluting industries, to ecological justice and sustainability. 
  4. Invest in the development of existing, and new energy technologies and green infrastructure. Invest in research, science and technology, to understand and seek to mitigate current and future aspects of the climate and ecological crisis. 
  5. Preserve the limited resources that we have, and recognize ecocide as a crime against humanity and nature in all its forms. Our planet’s major assets of water, forests and natural habitat, should be in public ownership, and legally protected. 
  6. Respect the knowledge of communities that know how to restore land, revitalize nature and produce food in a sustainable way. Make sure that no one is left behind in the ecological transformation, and that everyone has a voice within it, thereby strengthening participation and democracy. 
  7. Work with our strong and committed youth allies, including in the transformation of education systems from within, decolonising the curriculum and promoting education for sustainability as a statutory requirement with investment in teacher training and the inclusion of indigenous/First Nation knowledge. 
  8. Accountability, responsibility, and transparency should be the driving forces in achieving these goals. We, the people, must now take the political lead and demand to build a better world. As it is now or, literally, never…

4th December 2021