Summertime is nearly over and autumn approaches. The new season brings us shorter days, lower temperatures and more rain. It also marks the beginning of another kind of season. It means a new political agenda, which will contain topics both old and new; the same old struggles, but enlarged proposals and new fields of discussion as well. Yet, a new season also means new projects, and the birth of new campaigns. And it is all connected, at least from a green perspective.
As greens, we are somehow condemned to be the voice that warns about the truly important challenges that human kind is facing presently and in future, long before anyone else does. We are morally obliged, despite having been seen as fools on more than one occasion, to point out the dangers that lay down the road, until the blindfold falls from the eyes of society. When our topics at long last do make it onto the political agenda, it will often be too late.
But how do we proceed with this long awareness-raising process? One of the pillars of the Green movement is the cooperation with social movements, a relationship that enriches both sides. In many cases our members are highly participative civil society activists. Thus, we have campaigning in our genes, as we identify it as one of the most effective tools in spreading our messages. Indeed, campaigns are our way of getting people to debate the issues at hand. We also hang on to the savoir faire gained through years of successful experiences.
This is the reason why the FYEG is preparing the launch of the Climate Change Campaign. To return to the aforementioned new season, we have reached a point where we can be sure that we will face new – and old – topics to discuss; however, we cannot affirm with such a security that autumn will be colder and wetter. Indeed, climate is changing. The effects of these changes do not limit themselves exclusively to global warming: there will be bigger oscillations in the weather and less definite seasonal periods, among others. Experts have shown that some of these effects are already inavoidable. Despite this being discouraging, we must keep in mind that the situation can still take a turn for the worse, and that there is still a chance to mitigate some of the consequences.
As Greens we must acknowledge that our work is starting to bear fruit. Our warnings are being heard by society more and more. However, it would be a huge mistake to sit back in our chairs and congratulate ourselves. Time is still a precious commodity, as we haven’t yet achieved anything practical. Instead, we must continue our work, on which the Federation of Young European Greens’ Climate Change Campaign will focus.
The campaign will focus on the individual aspect of climate change; that is to say, what each of us can do to reduce the consequences of climate change. This approach is also of vital importance for the Green movement. We have to get rid of the concept of ‘complainers without proposals’ that we are often labelled to be. Thus, the logical approach is to come up with concrete measures. In coherence with the first step goal of persuading people to get involved with and committed to climate change mitigation efforts, we want to bring the problem closer to everyday life. We believe it is important to approach the campaign from a point of view of personal responsibility towards climate change.
In this sense, the involvement of young people is of special importance, as we and all the generations that are to follow will be the inheritors of our planet’s situation, suffering from the consequences in terms of quality of life and health. Unfortunately, we cannot come back and undo what we have done, yet we still have the chance to steer our route towards the future in a better direction. Starting right now, every day we delay our commitment to the future of the planet is one day too many.
The next season is approaching, and the Climate Change Campaign is around the corner…. We must be ready. “On your marks, get set, GO!”