On a cold November morning just a few weeks ago, our committee member Evelyne Huytebroeck hopped on her bike and set off on her next political mission: cycling from Belgium to Germany to attend the COP23 climate negotiations in Bonn!
There, she joined a delegation of Green politicians from all over Europe, and the world, to demand that these negotiations deliver ambitious policies that will result in global climate justice.
With negotiations now over, and today marking the two year anniversary of the historic Paris Agreement: where do climate negotiations stand?
"For a moment, we thought that the natural disasters experienced around the world in 2017, from the hurricanes in the Caribbean and the floods in south-east Asia, to the droughts in Africa, would push the politicians who attended COP23 in Bonn (hosted by Fiji) to make a bold commitment to make the Paris Agreement, signed two years ago, a reality.
With the FYEG at the Climate March in Bonn#cop23 pic.twitter.com/WZKuEFmYly— Evelyne Huytebroeck (@EHuytebroeck) November 4, 2017
"However, despite 'Talanoa' (the Fijian word for 'dialogue') getting underway this year, the current commitments of the majority of European countries are not enough if we wish to avoid moving toward catastrophic global warming of 3 degrees Celsius.
"In Bonn, we were disappointment with the lack of financial support being offered to the world’s poorest countries, who are often those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
"Nevertheless, we did recognise certain advances with regards to gender policy, the rights of indigenous peoples, agriculture and even the alliance of several countries that have committed to exiting from coal and fossil fuel energy.
"A positive message was launched during the conference by many U.S. cities, states, and economic sectors, who in contrast to President Trump, reasserted their goals in terms of climate policy. The networks of cities and non-state stakeholders (associations, social partners, youth organisations, etc.) also made strong statements at this conference by often going much further in their commitments than the U.S. government.
"Now, we must hope to see Europe recover its lost climate leadership of recent years and agree unanimously on bold commitments for the 2018 Conference in Katowice, Poland, for COP24."
Our committee member Oras Tynkkynen was also in Bonn. In this short video, broadcast live on our Facebook channel at the end of COP23, he wraps up the outcome of the negotiations:
Meanwhile, back in Paris, Greens like Isabella Lövin - Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister - are attending the One Planet Summit to speed up the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Mobilising money to transition to a sustainable future has never been more important, and together with industry and investors, we see boundless opportunities in a Green and fossil free society!