Change the system, not the climate

Over the next days, the future of generations to come will be determined at the Climate Conference in Paris. As young Socialists and Social Democrats of Europe, we are expectant and eager to see an ambitious answer to the severe threats to our planet. We cannot afford to keep a broken system out of step with the problems we face: rising sea levels, spreading deserts, and war over insufficient ressources. It is time for action.

We want a world where the needs of all people are met and fulfilled, while our production structures and energy consumption will respect the needs of future generations. Sustainable development is an investment in every individual’s right to life. And if we do not respect our environment and the limits of our natural resources, we will jeopardize the opportunities and rights for our children and their children to come.

Our objective is a society in which democracy, solidarity and sustainability are linked. The fight against inequality is only possible through preservation of the environment and a fair distribution of responsibilites in fighting climate change. Thus it is up to our generation to list fair but ambitious demands for a binding climate agreement in Paris this year. We cannot afford to wait.

We will have to compromise on the outdated ideal of constant production and accumulation of wealth in the Western World, and instead invest in sustainable production in developing countries and areas of the world who today lack funds for development.

We will have to disassociate ourselves from the use of pesticides, fertilisers and intensive farming and instead rethink our agriculture into a sector of green growth, animal welfare, and more quality foods.

And we will have to commit ourselves to take responsibility for climate refugees, fleeing from areas of desertification, wars for water, and forced urbanisation in the search for scarce food and jobs. A planet with extreme weather conditions will force those who have too little on dangerous routes to areas that have too much.

We have high hopes and expectations. If our politicians want to prove themselves as leaders of today with visions and foresight, they will invest – with us – in the future and commit to a binding climate agreement with ambitious emission targets, redistribution of wealth, and new sustainable growth.

The game for the future has begun.


By Alexander Blum Bertelsen,
YES Vice-President, Denmark 

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