How a European Green Deal should look like

4 August 2020

Sofie from YFoE Norway

Hey everybody! I’m excited to join the YFoEE’s #SYSTEM:RESET Project and training to help amplify underrepresented voices in the fight against climate change. The #SYSTEM:RESET online training sessions gave me tools to understand – and further communicate through activism – how including social intersections in democratizing our commons is essential to ensure an inclusive and just transition to a green way of life. The European Commissions’ European Green Deal (EGD) proposes a strategy to achieve such a transition, and the training offered a critical take on the policy framework.

To get a better understanding of what necessary systemic change looks like, Paul De Clerck from Friends of the Earth Europe presented five criteria:

  • Urgency and scale
  • An economy within Earth’s limits
  • Equity
  • People’s solutions and participation
  • Global justice.

Applying these principles to policy areas covered by the EGD, we were able to highlight and discuss central shortcomings:

  • Urgency and scale are not properly addressed related to climate, biodiversity, environmental limits.
  • EGD relies largely on green growth and does not challenge increasing consumption and economic growth.
  • Techno fixes and market mechanisms are key instruments, i.e. the EU Emissions Trading System.
  • It relies heavily on access to resources/minerals in other parts of the world, enabling a resource grab with externalizing costs of EGD and human rights violations.
  • There is a strong focus on investing in so-called ‘clean gas’ and hydrogen instead of prioritizing real proven solutions.
  • EGD does not address the strong level of corporate capture, allowing fossil fuel and agribusiness lobbyists to continue to shape the agenda.

As we shared the diverse environmental challenges our home countries are facing, the silver lining became increasingly apparent: A successful transition is dependent on that all people affected by its outcome have a voice in its formation.

Since such an ambition demands momentum, the training continued to teach us how to mobilize underrepresented youth, how to collect demands and visions for this transition, and find ways to into push this into legislation through strategic communication and organizing.

Therefore, I want to thank Young Friends of the Earth Europe for organizing such a fun and informative training and for daring me to take action! I’m currently organizing a local hub in Trondheim (my city in Norway, woop woop!) where we will be collecting climate visions for national decision-makers to take on board.

I also want to take the opportunity to remind everybody that us in the #SYSTEM:RESET Project are organizing an Online Youth Convergence in early September and that everybody’s invited to join! Stay tuned and see you there!

If you want to know more about our System:Reset Project and our New Working Group on European Green Deal, contact us at josef.boraei@foeeurope.org


Further reading on the EGD:

Paper on the Friends of the Earth Europe’s demands for the European Green Deal.

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EYFEYF logoSupported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union