- With IPPC expected to say we are closer to 1.5 degree temperature rise than previously thought, new alliance vows to drive the Green New Deal up the global agenda
- Members include politicians from every corner of the globe from the world’s biggest nations to island states
- Founded by: Rep. Ilhan Omar, US; Dep Joenia Wapichana, Brazil; Manon Aubry MEP, France; Caroline Lucas MP and Clive Lewis MP, UK; Dep. Paola Vega, Costa Rica.
Launching Monday 19th July 2021, a new Global Alliance for a Green New Deal brings together 21 politicians from around the world united in the belief that targets, although important, don’t change things, policy does.
Each of the lawmakers in the Alliance is already working to advance transformative policies for bold social, economic and ecological renewal domestically. Now, they are coming together to call for a rapid and just transition in response to Covid-19 and the climate and nature crises from the world’s leaders, and to build a new internationalism based on cooperation and collaboration.
The Alliance which is founded by Representative Ilhan Omar (Member of U.S. Congress), Dep. Joenia Wapichana (Brazilian Federal Parliament, and member of the Wapixana tribe of northern Brazil) Manon Aubry MEP (Co-chair of the Left group in the European Parliament), Clive Lewis MP and Caroline Lucas MP (Co-Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Green New Deal, UK), and Congresswoman Paola Vega Rodriguez (Chair of the Environment Committee of the Costa Rican congress) aims to add momentum to stalled, slow and insufficient international processes.
Speaking today at a global public meeting the founding members, while pledging to do all they can to advance a transformative Green New Deal domestically, will urge global leaders to:
- Not wait for November’s critical COP26 summit, but embark on bold transformative action to make the world fairer and greener now;
- Work in more globally representative groupings better-placed to understand the challenges the world faces, to fight Covid-19 and build back a fairer and greener world;
- Respond to the need for global collaboration on vaccines and debt restructuring for the world’s poorest nations with a new internationalism based on co-operation, collaboration and global justice, which should also underpin the global response to the climate and nature crises;
- Put a Green New Deal, nationally and globally, at the heart of the Covid recovery.
The Alliance brings together pioneering lawmakers from every continent – from Tanzanian politician Zitto Kabwe to US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
By working together, the lawmakers aim to increase global momentum for a Green New Deal that, if enacted, would deliver global justice, solidarity and build a new, spirited internationalism.
Alliance members have called on progressive lawmakers from around the world to join them, by committing to a statement of principles known as the ‘Declaration for a Green New Deal’
Each of the lawmakers have pledged to renew efforts for further and deeper action at the national level in their respective countries – sharing best practice and advancing further and faster action.
The founding members of the Alliance said:
“Climate change is here and it is an existential threat to humanity” said Rep. Omar. “We have already seen the horrifying repercussions of failing to act—wildfires raging across the West Coast, extreme hurricanes, heatwaves in Australia, and massive flooding around the world. Natural disasters like these will only get worse unless we act as a global community to counteract this devastation. I am proud to work with global partners to advance the Green New Deal and bring transformative change to our international climate response.”
“Pledges and targets will not avert catastrophic climate change – ambitious action will, but it’s been perilously absent. The world is running out of time and out of excuses.” said Caroline Lucas MP. “A Green New Deal wouldn’t only avert the worst of the climate and nature crises; it would make everyday life better for the vast majority of people wherever they live in the world. This is our moonshot moment, but this time it’s about making a better life here on earth and the only way we can do that is by working together as never before.”
“Indigenous peoples, the greatest guardians of the forest, are key actors in climate change actions. The Amazon is the largest tropical forest on Earth and a third is covered by Indigenous Lands. Protecting the rainforest is vital to fulfilling the Paris Agreement’s main objective – limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.” said Congresswoman Joenia Wapichana. “Indigenous peoples protect forest carbon more effectively than anyone else in the Amazon. Government and business must stop violating the rights of indigenous peoples and use this as a turning point to work together to prevent ecological collapse.”
“The climate crisis must be prioritised by all parliaments around the world. I’m honored to represent Costa Rica; a small Latin American country recognized for its green policies and biodiversity in the Global Alliance for a Green New Deal” said Congresswoman Paola Vega. “In my lifetime I’ve seen the impact of climate change in my region, from floods in our coasts to landslides in our valleys; inspiring me – and many others – to work to end the practices that damage our natural resources and impact the lives of so many. I’m looking forward to all the work we will achieve together as a global community and the support we’ll bring to all the communities already impacted by climate change.”
“As the consequences of the climate crisis become more and more alarming, inequalities are growing and the poorest are hit hardest by the impacts of a changing climate” said Manon Aubry MEP. “Our new global alliance of lawmakers for a Green New Deal will work to tackle the two challenges of our century: inequality and the climate crisis. Green growth is not the solution, but just another decoy. The Green New Deal we propose is not compatible with the way we currently organise the economy: if we want fair, systemic and effective climate policies we need a radical shift away from free trade and free market ideology.”
“Climate physics cannot be negotiated with; cannot be kicked into the long-grass or asked to wait for a more favourable electoral cycle. It simply is. All we can do as policy makers is respond to that reality. Yet too many of our global leaders refuse to acknowledge and act on this basic premise. Their tinkering at the margins with ‘greenwash’ climate policies are not simply failing at a policy level. They’re failing humanity and the billions of people who need radical, transformative action to avert the worst of this crisis.” said Clive Lewis MP. “That’s why I’m both honoured and relieved to join this global alliance. Like millions of others around the world I’m no longer prepared to wait for others to fail. If so called ‘global leaders’ refuse to lead, then we and the movements we are part of, will. This alliance will give an urgent platform to those voices, and in so doing give them power.”
The Alliance launches less than four months before world leaders convene at the critical COP26 summit, hosted by the UK, and a month after the June G7 summit which Alliance members say failed to deliver what is needed for the world’s poorest people and countries and for the climate.
The latest report in the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment cycle, due in early August, is expected to reveal that the world is perilously close to exceeding 1.5degrees of temperature rise. Alliance members say that plans currently explored in global fora are no way near ambitious enough to meet the moment, and that they will work together to raise ambition about what’s possible and demonstrate a new way of doing politics, based on global collaboration and solidarity.
- ENDS –
Notes to Editors
Members of the available are available for broadcast interviews on request.
The Alliance’s Declaration for a Green New Deal, which they are encouraging lawmakers around the world to sign, is attached to this release.
- High quality, short films are available for a number of the lawmakers and are available on request.
- 350.org have produced a short 5-minute film explaining the initiative which is available on request.
Social media: Twitter: @GGNDAlliance
About the Alliance
Alliance members have agreed a set of founding principles, known as the ‘Declaration for a Green New Deal’ which they believe must underpin any Green New Deal domestically or globally.
The Lawmakers agree a Green New Deal must:
- Build an economy that delivers wellbeing for all
- Protect and enhances the Earth we share
- Create a caring low-carbon society
- Shape a fair multileratel system fit for the twenty-first century
- Secure environmental and racial justice, shaping a truly democratic future in which everyone has a role to play
The full Declaration for a Green New Deal is attached, and will be on the Alliance website from 19th July: globalgreennewdeal.org
Alliance members will share learning from their respective jurisdictions, co-ordinating, accelerating and adding to existing efforts to introduce transformative Green New Deals.
Why the Alliance was founded
The Alliance has been founded against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. This threatens to push up to 150 million people into extreme poverty globally, while the climate and nature crises put many more lives at risk unless transformative action is taken nationally and globally.
There is mounting evidence that governments are failing to seize the opportunity presented by the Covid-19 pandemic to make a green recovery. This includes a report by leading international scientists presented to the UN at the end of 2020 which showed that G20 governments are “committing 60% more to fossil-fuel based activities than to sustainable investments”.
A major report by the OECD, published in September 2020, urged governments in developed countries to embrace a paradigm shift in their approach to economic policy – so that instead of focusing on gross domestic product (GDP), they prioritise environmental sustainability, improving wellbeing, reducing inequality and strengthening economic resilience.
The IPCC has estimated that a global carbon budget (the total burnable carbon between 2018 and 2100) consistent with a 66% chance of 1.5 degrees warming is just 420 Billion tonnes of CO2 . It is currently being burned at approximately 40 Billion tonnes per year. On current trends that gives the world until 2030, at the latest, before that global carbon budget is used up. The IPCC’s sixth assessment report, due to be published in August is expected to show that the world is closer to using up its global carbon budget than previously feared.
Each of the Alliance members has been working to advance ambitious and socially just responses to the climate and nature crises domestically, for a just global response to the Covid-19 pandemic and for a fair and green recovery.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, United States
Ilhan Abdullahi Omar is the Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the United States. A supporter of the Green New Deal since the Green New Deal Bill was first introduced by Rep. Oscasio-Cortez and Senator Markey in 2018, Rep. Omar has backed bills to provide direct territorial, Tribal and territorial governments with funding for a Green New Deal, for green transportation, clean air and to end fossil fuels.
Congresswoman Joenia Wapichana, Brazil
Joenia Wapichana is the Congresswoman for Roraima and a member of the Wapixana tribe of northern Brazil. Joenia is the first indigenous woman to qualify as a lawyer in Brazil, and the first indigenous woman to have been elected to Congress. Joenia is at the forefront of the fight for the collective rights of indigenous peoples and lands in Brazil.
Congresswoman Paola Vega Rodriguez, Costa Rica
Paola Vega is a Congresswoman, a feminist and an environmentalist. She is Chair of the Environmental Committee in the Costa Rican congress and a member of the Economic and Women’s Committees Congress. An advocate of the Green New Deal, she works to advance economic, environmental and social justice.
Caroline Lucas MP, UK
Caroline Lucas is the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion in the UK. In 2019, working with the Labour MP, Clive Lewis, Caroline introduced the first Green New Deal Bill to the UK parliament. Caroline is the co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Green New Deal and was a founder member of the Green New Deal Group in 2007.
Clive Lewis MP, UK
Clive Lewis is the Labour MP for Norwich South in the UK. In 2019, working with the Green MP, Caroline Lucas, Clive introduced the first Green New Deal Bill to the UK parliament. Clive is the co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Green New Deal and is a member of the Green New Deal Group.
Manon Aubry MEP, France
Manon Aubry is co-chair of the Left Group in the European Parliament and a co-founder of the Inter-Group on the Green New Deal. She lectures human rights at Sciences Po, Paris, and was previously a spokeswoman and researcher for Oxfam France and a tax justice campaigner, a cause she has continued to champion as an MEP.
Sanela Klaric MP, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Sanela Klaric is a member of the Federal Parliament. She is a member of the Supervisory Board of the regional Green New Deal, the Chairwoman of the Green Council Bosnia-Herzegovina and part of the organisational board of the Sarajevo Green Design Festival.
Ernest Urtusan MEP, Spain
Ernest Urtusan is a Green MEP, a member of the Intergroup on a Green New Deal and the Vice-president of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament. A member of the Parliamentary Committees Economic and Monetary Affairs, Urtusan was one of the primary negotiators of the European recovery package which includes €250 billion for green transformation.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Senator Jaques Wagner, Brazil
Jacques Wagner is the head of the Commission for Environment and Sustainability in the Brazilian Senate. He has played an important role in fighting against the privatization of water, and has worked tirelessly to press for fiscal reforms as a way to fund a Green New Deal in Brazil.
Esther Cuesta, Ecuador
Esther is a member of Ecuador’s National Assembly, representing Ecuador’s migrants in Europe. Esther worked for the Government of Rafael Correa for ten years, as a consul and as a vice minister. She has participated in numerous parliamentary groups focused on sustainable development, and has worked with feminist groups across Latin America.
Leonardo Grosso MP, Argentina
Leonardo Grosso is a Representative in the Chamber of Deputies for the province of Buenos Aires. He has worked extensively with youth movements, and is deeply committed to a vision of environmental justice that is based on bold economic change, and a fairer international trade system.
Rep Maria Jose Pizarro, Colombia
María José Pizarro is a politician and artist. She is congresswoman in Colombia’s House of Representatives, representing Bogota. Maria Jose is a prominent feminist and environmentalist and has played a leading role in working towards peace in Colombia. Much of her work in the cultural domain has been dedicated to rescuing the memory of those who have lost their lives in Colombia’s armed conflict.
Boma Goodhead, Nigeria
Boma Goodhead is a Nigerian lawmaker representing Rivers State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). She has been a fearless defender of her constituents in the Niger Delta, a constituency deeply affected by oil exploration and extraction. She is also a fierce advocate for women’s rights.
Frank Habineza, Rwanda
Dr Frank Habineza is the founder of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, President of the African Greens Federation, a coalition of 30 political parties and movements across the African Continent. Dr Habineza represents Africa on the Council of Global Greens and is a member of its Executive Committee, and is deputy chair of the parliamentary Social Affairs Committee of Rwanda.
Zitto Kabwe, Tanzania
Zitto Kabwe is a Tanzanian politician, and leader of one of Tanzania’s most important opposition parties, Alliance for Change and Transparency. Zitto Kabwe has worked extensively to put progressive economic and trade policies at the centre of the development agenda, and to fight for a fairer international playing field.
Ibu Mercy Barends MP, Indonesia
Mercy Barends MP is a member of the House of Representatives. She is Chair of the Green Economy Caucus [GEC] and Member of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights. She has spent years working with grassroots organisations, and has dedicated much of her career to showing how Free Trade Agreements undermine economic, social and environmental justice.
Senator Rita Hontaveros, Philippines
Rita Hontaveros is a Senator. A journalist who sits on the board of directors of Amnesty International in the Philippines, she has brought attention to the disproportionate impact of COVID 19 on women’s livelihoods. A politician who focuses on economic, social and environmental justice, she has backed the Climate Change Law and the Clean Air Act.
Charles Santiago MP, Malaysia
Charles Santiago is the MP for Klang in the state of Selangor. He is the Chair of the Human Rights and Constitutional Affairs Committee of Malaysia, and of the Parliamentarians for Human Rights Group in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). He has spent many years against the privatization of public water services.
Elizabeth May, Canada
Elizabeth May is the MP for Saanich—Gulf Islands, British Columbia and the first person to be elected as an MP for the Green Party of Canada. Elizabeth is an environmentalist, writer, activist and lawyer, who has a long record as a dedicated advocate for social justice, for the environment and for human rights and has been recognised by the United Nations and Time magazine for her contribution to environmentalism.
Adam Bandt, Australia
Adam Bandt is the MP for Melbourne, Victoria, and the leader of the Australian Green Party. Adam is the leading advocate for a Green New Deal for Australia, and tabled the first Green New Deal Bill for Australia, the Green New Deal (Quit Coal and Renew
Australia) Bill in June 2020.
Marama Davidson, New Zealand
Marama Davidson is the co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Marama is of Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Porou descent. She is the Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and Associate Minister for Housing, where she links ending poverty and making homes affordable with effective climate action.
James Shaw, New Zealand
James Shaw is the co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. James is the Minister of Climate Change and Associate Minister for the Environment. He led the New Zealand Government’s work on the Zero Carbon Act, which creates a legal requirement for the Government to take action consistent with limiting global heating to 1.5C.