Join Our Online Discussion on
the Challenge of the Climate Crisis
with Jan Burck, David Adler,
and Gaya Sriskanthan
Wed 15 May 2019
Central European time
The discussion will take place on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/8677519319
The past couple of months have been marked by the release of numerous scientific reports detailing the gravity of the climate crisis, by school children’s strikes and by Extinction Rebellion protests. Just the other week, the Welsh, Scottish and then UK government declared a climate change emergency.
The Green New Deal, an idea originally conceptualised in 2008, has come into the limelight this year after being taken up in the US by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Democrats, and in the UK by the campaign group Labour for a Green New Deal. More recently, Yanis Varoufakis and David Adler of DiEM25 called for an International Green New Deal. Whatever it’s called, it’s clear that a radical transformative programme is needed if we are to address and overcome climate breakdown, species mass extinction, and other critical threats to the future of humanity. The question is how we can get there.
Labour International Germany and Switzerland branch has organised this online event to better understand the challenges we face. Our speakers will cover the following issues:
- The experiences of Germany and its ‘Energiewende‘. The term Energiewende designates a change in energy policy. The ambitious programme was supposed to democratise energy production and use. Up until 2012, Germany did very well in terms of expanding the renewables industry and bringing the energy transition forward. According to Jan Burck, citing AGEB, the percentage of renewable energy in German electricity consumption rose from 3.4% in 1991 to 24% in 2013. But, according to Hans Josef Fell, the federal government then started introducing legislation detrimental to the energy transition.
We’ve invitedJan Burck, Senior Advisor on Low-Carbon Strategies & Energy at Germanwatch, to discuss Energiewende and its successes and pitfalls.
- The state of discussions surrounding a Green New Deal across Europe. Under right-wing and centre-right governments, the past three to four decades have seen an acceleration of growing inequality and the destruction of the environment. Globalisation destroyed local economies and jobs in Europe while industries relocated to poorer countries exploited lax environmental and employment laws and regulations. The Green New Deal is being promoted by the Left and seeks to construct an economic system that works for the many (not the few) and simultaneously, to transform, decarbonise and democratise the energy sector. We’ve heard about the USA and the UK, but what’s happening across Europe?
David Adler, Policy Coordinator of DiEM25, will discuss how the Left across Europe is planning to tackle the climate crisis.
- The question of how a transition can be dealt with in a fair and just way. Addressing climate change is a human rights issue. Indigenous peoples, who have least contributed to the causes of climate change or benefited from the fossil fuel economy, face the brunt of its impacts. Their land rights, much of which is already threatened by mining, logging, agricultural expansion and other developments, are already being impacted by the renewable energy sector via large-scale wind and hydropower development. It is therefore essential that social justice and equity are at the heart of plans to decarbonise the economy. The Green New Deal should redress these wrongs and expand economic benefits through local ownership of energy production and land.
We’ve invited Gaya Sriskanthan, Vice-Chair of Labour International New York branch and a climate justice specialist who works on indigenous issues and local energy ownership, to discuss indigenous rights and energy ownership models.