Global warming is the most urgent challenge of our time. Each year brings more drought and water shortages, fiercer wildfires, super hurricanes, unprecedented flooding, and massive coral bleaching - which is just a foretaste of what ever-increasing global temperature will unleash. That is a terrible world to leave our children and their children.
While some impacts are unavoidable, it is not too late to stop the worst, and to emerge as a stronger, more compassionate and cohesive global society. We can work for blue skies over our cities, everyone having enough food to eat and water to drink, healthy forests and coral reefs, reduced inequality, and a receding nuclear threat. Corporate power has to be subservient to democracy, and the economy subservient to society.
As Greens we can treat global warming as the challenge which unites the world. Every political party, member and supporter has a role to play. The Paris Agreement is a foundation but its momentum has to be sustained and hugely expanded. The effort has to be global as well as local and we will need to share resources, know-how, information, learn to work well together and to work effectively in the wider community - engaging the disaffected and restoring trust in democracy and its institutions.
The Greens 2017 congress is a critical moment. It is the threshold for the next steps at the international level on climate change: In 2018, progress on the Paris Agreement will be reviewed and the IPCC will present a special report on limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. There will be a series of important elections before 2020, including the European election in 2019, and the implications of ‘brexit’ will be clearer.
The Greens have power through elected representatives in national parliaments and the European Parliament, representation in local councils and state/regional parliaments, and a huge actual and potential supporter base. United behind a Climate Call to Action, working inside parliament and out, collaborating with civil society, trade union campaigns for climate action, indigenous communities and like-minded political parties, we can make a difference. The science is clear - we have no time to spare. Let’s act now.