Taking the middle course in relation to the climate crisis is not an option today. We either address the problem meaningfully and in accordance with all scientific knowledge, or we don’t.
This is not a matter of radicalism, it is a matter of fact and science. Any decision we make in the time between now and the coming decade will determine how humanity’s future will be shaped. Whether we’re going to suffer tremendously or secure a sustainable future together, that is our choice. The climate crisis is not something that will happen suddenly some day – the climate crisis has arrived.
The climate crisis is the result of an economic system with demands for constant growth. This system has become global since the 1990s and has created a constant pressure to produce, sell and consume ever more in the pursuit of economic profits. This pressure is now destroying the climate and biodiversity. We only have very few more years to adapt to a sustainable planet.
As consumers, we have all taken part in hastening climate change. Most of the citizens of the rich countries could without much hardship convert most of the over-consumption to a green, simple lifestyle and thereby have a significant effect on the climate.
But we also need to get the companies of the world: the major and the large cooperations – especially the powerful and climate-damaging ones – involved in a transformative change. Turn them away from blind growth and make them convert to sustainability and climate considerations. All economic activity must have the quality of life as a goal, not money. We must create a climate-friendly world economy that takes into account both people, climate and the planet.
These years, we are witnessing a man-made impact on the climate, which has an alarming significance for the planet, for all ecosystems, biodiversity, and for the peoples’ quality of life and opportunity for development.
We are forced to act now. Both as individuals and as citizens of the world, and as the global societies that carry out the major and necessary adjustments of energy, transport, agriculture, housing, production, public and private consumption.
We can and we will influence the countries’ policymakers – locally and nationally – to act constructively and relevantly on the climate crisis. And we will follow these politicians watch them and hold them accountable if they forget to act.
We are grandparents and we want to secure the future for coming generations. Our own lives here on the planet are soon to be over, but we want to give future generations the best chance for their lives. We want to recreate life and nature on our planet.
We therefore call on all countries of the world to do the following:
- Leave oil, coal and gas reserves in the earth and in the sea – utilizing them will kill the planet. The use of fossil fuels should be phased out in 6 to 9 years; they account for 75% of the world’s energy supply and bear the main responsibility for the climate crisis. Alternately 100% renewable energy could be introduced within a few years. Implement a massive technological development in all the necessary areas such as energy storage, batteries and heat supply from renewable
- Stop global deforestation and restore forests and mangroves that can save the planet by absorbing and storing CO2; presently they are being cut down at an ever faster rate because large private and global timber businesses can make profit from the timber and because the food industry is profitting from producing meat in the world’s unsustainably large meat production.
- Rebuild biodiversity systematically – create space for nature, plant trees, plants, flowers, rebuild ecosystems – we are in the middle of the 6th mass extinction. Nature is dying and when nature dies, human beings die. Make the world’s cities
- Convert world agriculture to non-toxic, biodiverse and CO2 storage Create organic agricultural funds that buy agriculture for sustainability, biodiversity and intensive, climate-friendly operations.
- Readjust the world’s transportsystems: Airplanes, fossil cars, trains etc. – everything should be made CO2 neutral. Minimize overall transport needs. Limit global trade and build up local ones
- Build up a new sustainable and locally based climate-friendly economy across the globe. With three bottom lines: Planet, People, Profit – in that order. The goal of the economy must be to create quality of life and to meet people’s legitimate requirements for the basic necessities of
- A climate-friendly economy must comply with the 17 world goals as a social foundation and stay within the 9 planetary boundaries as an environmental ceiling. Every production must respect the One Planet principle and be genuinely ecological in its entire life cycle, ie. be a circular economy, without
- The necessary adjustment must be carried out in a socially just manner with the best possible equality. Our consumption must serve everyone’s good lives. We should immediately reorganize the planet’s consumption so that we define the future’s green lifestyle
- Create communities of citizens for climate mitigation in all countries. These climate agencies should advise, inspire and push politicians to make the necessary radical steps towards sustainability.
- Implement climate laws that define CO2 reduction targets from now until 2050. With a 70% reduction in 2030 for the entire world. The law must advise each sector of society on how to contribute precisely to the reduction. And it must specify concrete, binding and measurable targets for a reduction that can be measured every two
- Educate all people on the necessity of the above
All this is really only difficult, because of the powerful interests of the few and the majorities lack of knowledge of the alarming nature of the crisis.
We are facing a climate emergency. It is our duty to act, and to act fast: here and now. We are aware that the task is enormous and we believe that the best solution is the cooperation within individual countries and between countries. We believe climate change can be the way to create a better future, where we focus on quality, equality and human care for the globe and for everything living. It gives us hope.
Grandparents’ Climate Action – Bka in Aarhus, Denmark
The climate policy group Aarhus, December 10, 2019