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5 GOOD reasons for faster climate action

07/06/2022

Why Stockholm+50 was not your typical UN conference and why is that a reason for hope?

Let us take you to Sweden! Last week, we attended the United Nations Stockholm+50 conference, a seminal event 50 years after the first UN conference on the human environment. While some argue that this marks a sad anniversary of 50 years of climate summits, 50 years of empty promises, and 50 years of climate destruction, we believe that there are five good reasons to be hopeful after the summit:

  1. Growth - Our current system based on overconsumption and endless economic growth is incompatible with environmental protection. This is increasingly recognised by leaders as well such as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling out Gross Domestic Product as an ill-suited measure of human progress and wellbeing.

  2. Global South - COP26 in Glasgow last year was infamous for being one of the least inclusive climate conferences in history, with hardly any participation from those most affected by the climate crisis. While Stockholm+50 has been far from perfect, both plenary sessions and side events featured more voices from the Global South.

  3. Gas & Oil - We have become used to environmental conferences being sponsored by big fossil fuel companies and leaders shying away from addressing the elephant in the room. In the leadership dialogues during the conference, there has been more talk about an equitable phase-out of fossil fuels, including gas. It’s of vital importance that Members of the European Parliament follow these calls and vote down the EU Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act that would classify gas and nuclear as sustainable options.

  4. Greta - Taking place in Stockholm, the birthplace of Greta Thunberg, youth climate activists have been very vocal during the conference, including during the leadership dialogues as well as outside the conference by means of a massive protest on Friday afternoon. We must continue to ensure that youth is not only present in these spaces, but meaningfully involved in decision-making concerning our future.

  5. Greater Action? - The fact that discussions are shifting towards systemic solutions to our worsening environmental crises is a positive sign and we must ensure that this will also inspire meaningful action with and for young people.

Together with our member organisations and young climate activists across Europe, we will harness these signs for hope and continue to hold governments to account to shift to an economy that prioritises wellbeing and tackle the root causes at the heart of the climate crisis.

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