Emerging new states declare climate emergency

Time for an ecological transition based on social justice

Editorial by EFA President Lorena López de Lacalle

Despite a spring full of new scientific reports, grassroots movements, demonstrations and school strikes claiming for radical measures to curb climate change, governments do not seem to consider our planet’s future is at stake.

In 2016, European governments gathered in Paris to agree upon the necessary steps to fight climate change. Not only the measures adopted were insufficient to face climate change challenges, but we have sadly seen that most of their commitments were never kept.

It becomes thus evident that climate change action is a bottom-up demand. Citizens are strongly mobilized asking for immediate action and we start to see local and regional institutions taking decisive steps, as many cities have shown by signing the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

Emerging new states are proactively responding too. Since Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declared that “there is a climate emergency in the world”, on 28 April 2019, other countries like Wales and Catalonia have followed.

A good example of the measures that these governments are undertaking is the zero-carbon economy goal by 2050 In Scotland. Wales will also seize its tidal energy potential. In the case of Catalonia, Sustainability Minister Meritxell Budó has stated that “climate change is a global process that requires the involvement of society as a whole: citizens, companies and governments”.

Once again, subsidiarity in the decision-making process is key in finding solutions to the current and urgent global problems. This is, bringing decisions closer to citizens and Involving them in real participatory processes to pave the way to effective and long-term policies to keep the temperature rise below 2ºC.

Climate change is a global threat which requires common, coordinated and immediate action. As the European Free Alliance, we are highly committed with the protection of the environment and its diversity. Together with our 46 member parties, we are working for an ecological transition in Europe based on social justice. It’s time for action.