Attentive readers will have noticed that this section is no longer called the “European Dimension“. This is a change not just of name but of content. We think it is necessary to follow the debate around the Green Pact for Europe closely. As we have already noted, on one side is the European Commission’s GDE and on the other the GNDE coming from civil society.
Since we are not “neutral”, we prefer concrete suggestions, which is why we support the proposals of civil society – which are almost always ignored – since they are more concrete and less “improvised”. We believe, however, in a dialogue that is open and as constructive as possible and this is why we report on the proposals and actions of both sides.
We will then add a third section, containing concrete ideas that can lead to changes in behaviour, at both the individual, political and European levels.
We can start right away.
The GNDE document, which we spoke of briefly in Newsletter 67, is the work of 17 different organizations.
The GNDE proposes changes in the financial rules for the environmental EU: to this end it asks for investments in fossil energy to be penalized and those in renewables to be rewarded.
A demonstration on behalf of GNDE will be held in Place de l’Europe, Luxembourg on 28 March with the slogan: “Billionaire, pay your share!”. It will highlight the need for fiscal justice with the aim of making the wealthiest pay more.
An international conference was held in Brussels on 4 and 5 February on the theme of “Forest for Biodiversity and Climate”. Opened by the vice-president F. Timmermans and with closing remarks by the environment commissioner V. Sinkevicius, the conference was attended by prominent representatives of the worlds of politics, institutions and academia. There were 7 themed sessions, in addition to the plenaries. This was undoubtedly an important occasion for analysis, comparison, and debate (especially in the corridors and between sessions). And the outcome? Fantastic if this is the first time you have heard about forests/biodiversity and the climate. Disappointing if you already have experience in the sector.
It remains an important conference, however, because it will provide the Environment DG with “recent” discussions to refer to before moving on from words to deeds.
Proposals for changing behaviour
We are aware that changing our own behaviour is one of the hardest things to do. In this section we will bring together suggestions that we receive, leaving it to readers to put them into practice either in person or through their political representatives, or by putting pressure on decision makers.
We await your ideas. Be as creative as you like!
To put in place public transport systems running on rails that connect various urban centres to surrounding villages: the services must run frequently and could involve automatic driverless vehicles. Examples of this type of transport already exist in the south of France. They drastically reduce personal car use and allow the exponential growth of cities to be avoided.