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The author is the co-leader of the German Green Party, and the candidate for Chancellor in the Bundestag on September 26
When I wrote these lines, Central Europe-including my home country Germany-was still struggling to deal with the aftershocks of the earthquake. flood Destroyed the entire village and killed more than 200 people.
At the same time, terrible reports of record-breaking fatal torrential rains came from central China and western India.exist Southern MadagascarOn the other hand, as the country is experiencing its worst drought in four years, thousands of families are at serious risk of starvation. Dozens of fires are burning in large areas of the North American continent and southern Europe.
Attributing each of these events to climate change would be an oversimplification of science.However, experts have reached a broad consensus that global warming will increase Such extreme weather -Not only in the next few decades, but also today. Frankly speaking, the climate crisis is happening. If we want to successfully contain it, we need to act quickly.
Germany, once a pioneer in global climate protection, Already behindFor more than 15 years, the outgoing Christian Democratic Prime Minister Angela Merkel has led by character and example. To many people in the world, she has always been the face of a friendly, reasonable, reliable, and open-minded Germany.
However, by constantly trying to keep things that have worked well in the past, Her government largely missed About shaping the future-in climate protection and other aspects.
Many of our schools are in poor condition, and the level of digitalization is significantly lower than it should be. In Germany, one of the richest countries in the world, more than one in five children grew up below the poverty line. In 2020, no new railway track will be put into operation.
Therefore, when citizens vote for a new Bundestag on September 26, they will determine the fate of a country. Urgent need for reforms and updates. As a green candidate for the prime minister, this is my proposal: reform and renewal.
Our party put forward investment proposals in its election plan An additional 50 billion euros per year In my country’s digitalization and environmental transformation. In fact, compared with other industrialized economies, Germany’s public investment rate has been particularly low for many years. Since interest rates are close to zero, if such investments are not made, future generations will bear a greater burden due to weak infrastructure.
I believe that many of these investments should support the response to the climate crisis in areas such as renewable energy, agriculture, and transportation. We must make climate neutrality the new engine of prosperity.
To ensure good work and our competitiveness in the future market, carbon neutrality will be essential. We need to focus all our efforts on the socio-ecological transformation of our economy-in Germany, but also on the European level.
After all, tackling the climate crisis is a challenge, and we can only do it together if we work closely together to help developing countries and emerging economies leave or skip the fossil fuel stage altogether.
Therefore, after years of political reservations and hesitation, the German government should once again play a more active role on the international stage, especially in Brussels. I hope Germany will lead by example-and extend an invitation to anyone who is willing to join the carbon-neutral world economy that is committed to achieving global climate justice.
In this regard, although the British decision (at least temporarily) to leave our homeland, the European Union, is regrettable, I believe that any form of closer international cooperation-including with the Biden-Harris government in Washington-should be the best. Runs simultaneously with London.To give just one example, when I proposed the establishment of a US-Europe working group at the ministerial level to agree on the upcoming ambitious common goal COP26 summit In Glasgow, I want to make it clear that we sincerely invite Britain to join. We have a lot to learn from each other.
Finally, what we need is a new common understanding of how we produce and consume, and how to live a way of life that no longer costs ecological destruction, economic exploitation, or global injustice.
What we need is change. Because in a world in a state of permanent transformation, only change can provide stability.