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September 8: Rise with us and grab the power!

Between September 12 and September 14, mayors, local authorities, NGOs and businesses will meet in San Francisco, the United States, for the Global Climate Action Summit. While they meet, we join forces with the movements on the ground. We will show the way forward for climate leadership. Together, we will rise.

 

As FYEG, we stand in solidarity with people and communities at the forefront of the climate crisis. We, as young people, we are at the frontline of the climate struggle and not because “we are the future”. With increasingly hot summers, forest fires and droughts in many places all over Europe, the climate crisis is already here. We must have a say in how it should be tackled now.

 

We are said to be the first generation to experience the effects of climate change and possibly the last to be able to do something about them. The science is clear about the causes of the climate crisis, as well as about what needs to be done to prevent the worst case scenario. To keep the rising temparatures below 2 C, as the countries have committed themselves to in the Paris Agreement, 80 % of world's fossil fuels will beed to stay under ground. This means that we need to transition to a completely fossil free economy based to 100 % on renewables by 2050 at the latest. And there are many examples showing us that we can make this transition happen, opening a completely new and exciting chapter for how we organise our societies and live together.

 

Yet while we already do have the solutions, we are being left behind as a generation by faceless politicians who keep putting their own profits before our rights and dignity. With each country's Nationally Determined contributions (NDCs), we are at present aiming at temperatures betwen 3,5 and 4 degrees above the pre-industrial levels. Meanwhile, our democracy is being jeopardized by multinational corporations - in particular the fossil fuel industry - and their dirty lobbies, who put their short-term gains over long term benefits for society as a whole. Deciding not to act while the solutions are there is a political choice. It is a conscious choice to screw up our generation. A choice to sell our lives for the benefits of the industry.

 

Politicians can only make such choices because we as a younger generation, we are not considered relevant actors in decision making processes. We are largely absent from decision making tables and company boards. Being blatantly under-represented in the majority of Parliaments across the world, we have only limited chances to set things right. Yet, in many places all over the world, we are already creating the change we want to see with small steps on the ground. We have changed our consumption patterns and eating habits, we buy food locally and take long train rides instead of short flights, we separate waste, ride bikes, take part in agricultural cooperatives and we go so far as blocking fossil infrastructure in order to defend ourselves from polluters and their corrupt representatives. On September 8 we rise because we believe that now, now is the time to step up the game.

 

As Young Greens from all over Europe, we are a movement between institutionalized politics and the street. We understand that change can be achieved sometimes in institutions and sometimes in the street. We take part in the electoral process, while knowing that politics is about much more than elections. We chose to rise to bring ideas, visions and enthusiasm from the streets into politics.

 

On September 8 we rise because we believe it is our fundamental right to live in an environment which has not been completely devastated by the previous generations - and that those coming after us should also enjoy this right. To have prospect to a positive future, to prosper and lead a life in dignity. Today, we reclaim this right. Tomorrow, we grab for the power.

 

Do you share our vision for changing the society? Then now is the right moment to join, rise with us and grab the power!