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Celebrating Earth, celebrating home

The European Green Party, together with the Green Group (Greens/EFA) in the European Parliament, the FYEG (Federation of Young European Greens), the Global Greens and other Green friends came together in Brussels to celebrate Earth Day on Thursday April 21. Today, on Friday April 22 in New York, the COP21 Paris Agreement will be signed and this triggered us to celebrate Earth and organising a birthday for her, while there, we also collected signatures for the #sign4climate initiative. This initiative is a way for people to join the Heads of States and Governments in their commitment to uphold what was agreed upon in Paris. Check out the pictures of our event here: goo.gl/jM0AEd

All aspects of a real birthday party were there. We installed a large Earth balloon on the square, set up some tables with cupcakes and gave presents to the Earth. These presents were physical representations of the real gift we can give to the Earth.

This event provided an opportunity to talk about what we can truly give to the Earth. It’s called fossil fuel divestment, diverting capital away from the fossil fuel industry and putting those funds to good use to enhance renewable energy. Our Co-Chair, Reinhard Bütikofer, provided a speech on this topic. The signing of the COP21 Paris Agreement is a big step. Yet, there is more to be done.

Divestment is a big opportunity to amplify what has been agreed upon in Paris. “We want to make this a major concern on all different levels of policy. We believe that the divestment movement is one of the best hopes that we all have”, said Reinhard Bütikofer. “It is an international movement, it is an ethical movement and it is a logical step from an economic point of view. We want to support it and strengthen it, which is why we are demonstrating here today”.

We can see that the stars are starting to align. The divestment movement is growing at an increasingly fast rate and we thoroughly support this evolution. Various organisations, institutions, civil groups and cities like Oxford, Uppsala and many more have already divested or are starting to divest. Even large financial institutions are seeing the benefits of diverting their funds in different sectors than the one of the fossil fuel industry. Even the Rockefeller Family Fund, who built their fortune on the oil industry in the past, deems the fossil fuel industry as obsolete and has started to withdraw all its capital from fossil fuel holdings.

It makes no sense to push further investments in an obsolete industry that has no future in any meaningful form. We want and have to divest today, in order to save our tomorrow.

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