former thematic officer sustainable development Oxfam-Solidarité / Environment & development
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People and planet before profit
- Though many of us are strongly committed and are already contributing to the cooling of the planet, I support the slogan of the young climate justice activists: Hummingbirds will not stop the fire. My concerns today are as much due to the widely shared recognition of the injustice of a minority exceeding planetary boundaries, as to the responses – largely inadequate – given by political leaders. The terribly unfair nature of responsibilities, impacts and solutions is well documented. But if 90 economic operators have emitted nearly 2/3% of GHGs, what the hell are we waiting for to change the system? Too few politicians are willing to fight to redefine a new pact between States and citizens on the purpose and regulation of economic activities. However, if citizens bear some responsibility for the over-consumption of natural resources, let us recognize that it is mainly those who plunder, degrade or trade them that politicians must stop first.
2 & 3.
My best decisions to bring my little brick to the great building of a better world were, without a doubt, to choose studies and a few years later, a job, that have allowed me to act, almost daily, for more social and environmental justice. On a personal level, I would say that the difficulties relate mainly to coherence and its painful family and social compromises in terms of daily consumption. And at the societal level, the difficulties lie mainly in the increasingly power imbalances between citizens and those policy-makers who capitulate, blinded by the exclusive pursuit of economic growth, their re-election or false solutions.
- Freedom stops where the freedom of others begins.
There is no single key to unlock the overheated prisons in which we have been trapped because of political choices supporting over-productivism, over-consumption and the use of fossil fuels. However, we can act at two levels. On the one hand, together with the promoters of alternatives, put pressure on the political representatives ready to think about change. With those who say they are ready to share better and who will dare to reorganize and better regulate the economic, commercial and financial system. And on the other hand, denounce the culprits, who, in order not to hinder growth, cover toxic policies and practices and blindly follow the merchants of technological dreams, the carbon cowboys and other sellers of false solutions.