As the United Nations Climate negotiations enter their critical second week, politicians from around the world have come together to call for a global Green New Deal to advance urgent and co-ordinated action beyond COP26. The lawmakers have also pledged to do more to advance further and faster action on the climate and nature crises where they are.
The 300 parliamentarians from 41 nations who have signed the Declaration are urging global leaders to move from talking to action. They are also calling on other parliamentarians around the world to join them by backing the Declaration.
United in the belief that targets, although important, don’t change things, policy does, signatories of the Declaration set out their belief in the need for a rapid and just transition to an economy that operates within planetary boundaries and supports human flourishing.
If applied globally, a Green New Deal could give us a chance of staying within 1.5 degrees of global heating while improving life for billions around the globe. Members of the Alliance have tabled Green New Deal Bills nationally, and are now calling for the approach to be applied globally. Green New Deal Bills have been tabled in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK, while other members have proposed legislative measures to end the extraction of fossil fuels.
Outlining the principles on which it should be built, the Declaration calls for a Green New Deal that would:
Involve the redesign of national and international financial systems so that they serve the needs of people and planet, and major changes to taxation;
Include significant investment in energy conservation and renewable energies around the world coupled with policies that rapidly reduce fossil fuel use.
This means transforming the way people produce electricity, travel, grow food, manage land, and valuing the people who care for us while also transforming the way people work. These ambitious programmes must be designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels and restore nature at the scale and speed that science tells us is necessary, the Declaration says.
The Declaration, which is available in full on the Alliance website, sets out the principles that parliamentarians believe must underpin that transition. It calls for action that would:
Build an economy that delivers wellbeing for all: Leaders must implement new measures of progress that reflect the health and wellbeing of the real economy and ecosystems, account for long-term risks, and prioritise people and the planet over profits.
Protect and enhance the Earth we share: Action must limit global temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrialised levels, while reversing long standing inequalities within and between nations.
Create a caring low-carbon society: Governments should expand the care economy, creating millions of socially necessary, low-carbon jobs in care, health and education, provide guaranteed wages and benefits and equitable access to the millions of jobs created in the transition and involve the people and communities whose livelihoods are dependent on today’s high carbon industries.
Shape a fair multilateral system fit for the twenty-first century: Climate reparations, should address inequalities caused or exacerbated by the climate crisis. The world’s governments and the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) must provide immediate debt cancelation for the world’s poorest countries and deploy what are known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and other innovative financial instruments to help nations recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19 while and address the climate crisis.
Secure environmental and racial justice, shaping a truly democratic future in which everyone has a role to play: Meeting the challenge of the climate and nature crises demands more democratic, inclusive and pluralistic societies – signatories confirm their commitment to working together to find economic, social and environmental solutions to meet the needs of diverse communities and to supporting immigration policies that honor the dignity of all people, fostering global cooperation by addressing the root causes of migration; ensuring that migrants human rights are respected; and that they are given the resources they need to settle.
Signatories of the Declaration include New Zealand’s Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw; Joenia Wapichana, Brazil’s first Indigenous Congresswoman, US congresswomen Rep Ilhan Omar and Rep Rashida Tlaib; Mushahid Sayed MP, a member of Pakistan’s Climate Change Committee; the UK’s Green MP, Caroline Lucas; Angelique Ngoma MP, President of the Committee on Environment and Sustainable in Gabon, Boma Goodhead MP whose constituency is in the oil-rich Niger Delta and the Greek MP, and former Greek finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis.
“We urgently need to see the world’s leaders close the gap between rhetoric and policy. That means moving from grudging acceptance of the need for action, to wholeheartedly embracing the ten-year transformation programme needed to meet the challenges of the climate and nature crises. An ambitious Green New Deal would rapidly reduce inequality within and between nations through co-ordinated investment to transform almost every aspect of the way we live. Do that, and we can create a world where progress is measured in the health of our communities and the vitality of our ecosystems. That world is ours to win. What we need is for the global leaders gathered in Glasgow to listen, to act and to join us.” Caroline Lucas MP (UK)
“Averting climate catastrophe and ensuring a livable planet for all will take more than photo ops – it will take a global revolution to put people over profits which we can achieve through the Green New Deal framework. I am proud to be amongst hundreds of legislators across the world who are demanding immediate, massive investments towards ending the use of fossil fuels and replacing them with green, renewable, sustainable energy. We can only face this climate crisis through international coordination and solidarity.” Rep Rashida Tlaib (US)
“Concrete steps need to be taken to accelerate measures to decarbonise the economy. Indigenous Peoples are fundamental for this, especially in certain key regions of the planet, such as the Amazon. We hope that the climate urgency will be better addressed at this COP and that Indigenous Peoples will be better considered in financing projects. ” Dep Joenia Wapichana (Brazil).
“Parliamentarians from across Latin America and the Caribbean have a vital role to play in demanding and shaping a Green New Deal that works for the global south. Our region is plagued by the impact of inequality and the rapid depletion of our shared natural resources. That’s why so many politicians from Latin America have signed the Declaration for a Green New Deal and are pledging to work together to push a plan that tackles inequality and the climate and nature crises up the global agenda” Esther Cuesta MP (Ecuador).
“Nigeria has faced major environmental hazards resulting from oil explorations, gas flaring, oil spillage, industrial waste, carbon emissions and other forms of greenhouse gas pollutants which the Green New Deal will help to address. This requires collaboration by the international community especially by major emitting countries.” Boma Goodhead MP (Nigeria)
Each of the lawmakers who have signed the Declaration are already working to advance transformative policies for bold social, economic and ecological renewal domestically. Now, they have come together to call for a rapid and just transition in response to the climate and nature crises from the world’s leaders, while pledging to do what they can to build a new internationalism based on cooperation and collaboration.