Empty words and slogans will not decarbonise Europe

03.08.2021

Проблема климатических изменений и сокращения выбросов — частая тема для политиков в Европе. Она довольно популярна, но дел всё же гораздо меньше, чем слов. Разрушительные потопы и аномальная жара — это сигналы людям от природы. Необходимо добиваться решительных действий от своих правительств. Европа должна стать первым климатически нейтральным континентом в мире, иначе средняя температура продолжит расти. EURACTIV публикует статью экоактивистки Хелены Маршалл

Helena Marschall is an 18-year-old activist with Fridays for Future in Germany.

Overflowing rivers, flooded homes, huge stretches of land left in ruins and a death toll rising by the day. While the Conference for the Future of Europe runs in Brussels unprecedented floods devastate regions in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

In the middle of Europe, people are losing their homes, their livelihoods and their family members as a result of the approaching climate crisis. This comes just a short time after heat waves raged through – causing sleepless nights and even deaths as a result of exhaustion and heat strokes.

There was never any doubt that the climate crisis and its effects were already taking hold in Europe as well, if through droughts or forest fires. The recent weather extremes that have left countless dead, however, make the real human consequences of the climate crisis drastically and tragically clear.

What is also clear is that recent events are not random acts of nature that are happening to us by coincidence. Rather they are provoked and made more likely through decades of status quo politics, accelerating the climate crisis through fossil fuel subsidies and lack of real climate action.

Recognizing that past inadequate policies have brought us to this point opens the possibility to break from them. While there is no way to regain what has already been lost, there is still so much to save and we know that swift action can curb an ever greater accumulation of extreme weather events.

Europe is the promise of a free, democratic and equal society transcending national borders. There is an apparent struggle to uphold Europe’s values and human rights are not consistently upheld within the Union.

This is, of course, unacceptable and there is no way a Fortress Europe policy can continue when millions in and outside of the continent have to flee their homes because of an escalating climate crisis.

What is absolutely clear: The foundation for building a more just Union in the future is keeping the promise of Europe in the present. Central to that is limiting the climate crisis with every tool possible.

Too often politicians seem to forget that empty words and fancy slogans like “Fit For 55”, “European Green Deal” or “Next Generation EU” will not decarbonise our society and economy. The snazzy titles cannot cover up the fact that the legislation is lacking when it comes to concrete policies and measures to get to net zero quickly.

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