• Resolution of the Political Secretariat of SYRIZA
  • Climate change and the Paris Conference (COP21)

  • 03 Dec 15
  • Climate change is not just one of the biggest problems facing peoples and governments. Due to the global nature of its causes and consequences, it constitutes at the same time a challenge asking for a transformation of the existing political, economic and social order of the planet. The Conference in Paris in a few weeks should be the starting point for this change.

    The adoption of an agreement that will include Government commitments to reduce polluting emissions, to pursue adjustment measures as well as funding of the relevant actions is the first condition for this new departure. Reductions of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases will need to be absolutely concrete regarding both the quantity and the time schedule of implementation. The same applies for the necessary adjustment measures. The issue of funding is crucial and its solution must be a key element of the agreement.

    The effects of climate change are extremely important especially for poor countries. Until now, however, the funding of actions was ineffective since it did not help to properly address the basic needs of the world's poor in relation to the implementation of impact mitigation measures and even more, their adaptation to the new situation. The immediate disbursement of an amount of 100 billion dollars agreed at the Copenhagen Conference will be the first step in this direction.

    The negotiations so far do not indicate that there will be such commitments, but only guidelines to States. It is therefore imperative for SYRIZA to seek alliances with all progressive forces so the agreement that will be signed in Paris will commit states to contribute in a concrete way to addressing the issues related to climate change depending on their share of historical responsibility (principle of common but differentiated responsibility). To achieve those objectives the development of renewable energy resources is required as well as the simultaneous reduction of fossil fuel use. SYRIZA believes that we should set the goal of a total ban on the use of fossil fuels by 2050 outlining clear and measurable milestones.

    However, such an objective comes into conflict with those dominant economies based on a fossil fuel model of production and consumption and possessing the power and influence to steer the world's political elites. SYRIZA, aware of the class character of the policies that insist on continuing the same productive and development model even with superficial improvements that do not change its substance, is firmly committed to building alliances with all those forces that aim to overthrow the existing production and consumption model.

    These forces should coordinate their struggle at all levels (international, European and national). At the international level, coordination of action and concrete goal setting in the UN context is required starting with the Paris Conference. At the draft decision that will be the basis of discussions at the Paris Conference there is no reference at all to Renewable Energy resources or limitation of fossil fuels. Therefore, the coordination of all forces must have as its reference point the commitments for the development of renewable energy resources and for a ban on fossil fuels such as described above.

    At the European level SYRIZA will fight along all forces that want a different course of the EU toward a gradual transition to a new economic and energy model based on increasing decarbonization of the economy; energy savings and enhancement of renewable energy; rationalizing transport; transformation of the agricultural production model and the development of circular economy. This policy will both allow natural resources to be saved and the path of the greenhouse effect to be reversed.

    At the national level, we should start the specification and implementation of these objectives. In particular, energy saving and the development of renewable energy and the change of the agricultural model should be directed to meet local needs through the development of the social-cooperative sectors of the economy in order to reinforce employment and ensure environmental protection. The objectives to be set at national level should be fully in line with those set at the international and European level for both renewable energy and for the use of fossil fuels.

    Dealing with the social, economic and environmental issues associated with climate change calls for new political procedures. SYRIZA will encourage an open democratic dialogue at the political and social level for all the above issues, adopting new forms of participatory democracy: integrating all those suffering the effects of climate change into the decision-making process is a condition for an effective response.

    Athens, November 13, 2015.