The world is waiting for European leadership on climate change

Author: Suzana Carp, Change UK, South East


I have been working on climate and energy related matters, at the European level, for a little over 4 years now. 

I have managed to steer coalitions of advocacy using evidence based reports and influence the European legislative process towards a higher carbon price and towards more ambition at the EU level.

Already in March, in this article in POLITICO I commented on the lack of compatibility between the leading candidate of the largest political party in the EU, Manfred Weber and the role he was going for, on the basis of his weak or inexistent stance on climate policy. Lastly, I predicted a long time ago the topic of climate change would feature high on the agenda leading up to the European elections.

I am well aware of the climate emergency we are faced with. Just last week i was organising a climate youth summit in Sibiu, as a side summit to the Future of Europe summit which took place. This summit was to be the first post Brexit one and was a meeting of Heads of EU States which the UK did not attend. The outcome of the Summit has been a most disappointing one, void of real meaning, with populistic nuances and not mentioning the importance of climate change.

The reason for that is that Brexit has paralysed the whole EU process and the uncertainty cast by this impossible but very dangerous fantasy is creating a stumbling block in the face of climate action.

I am a candidate for ChangeUK because it is the only political platform which has understood and rightfully advocates what is needed for swift and effective mitigation policies: cross-party consensus (Change UK MPs and members come from all sides of the political spectrum, Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and Greens), focus on evidence as opposed to an obsession with outdated economic or political ideologies, and courageous leadership.

It is also the only party who’s motto and EU Elections manifesto reads as : let’s settle the Brexit discussion by giving citizens a final say so we can swiftly move towards the most urgent crisis of our time: that of climate change.

Last evening I attended hustings in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The parties which mentioned climate change were : Change UK, Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems. It was clear that what we have in common is by far stronger than what separates us. But what does separate us, at the European level, for being ready to move ahead is Brexit and the sort of politics that have created it (which are sadly present all across the EU, including in the EP).

More specifically, a political rationale which enable parties and politicians to be more focused on their self-preservation in power rather than making the courages choices which their citizens are asking them for and for which they will be ultimately held responsible for.

ChangeUK represents for me more than an alternative to Brexit. It is a political model, a positively disruptive movement which represents the only way that we are ever able to reach the necessary decisions on climate change in a relevant time frame. I worry that the new European Parliament will lead to further bickering between the parties all flexing their muscles who has more power and taking too long to negotiate vital files.

I believe ChangeUK is a model that has to be adopted further at the European level, politicians from across the political spectrum coming together with a view to find a common ground, in order to serve the European and national interests (the two are interlinked for all countries of the EU and around the EU).

So yes, it is particularly important to settle the Brexit question as soon as possible, as the clock is ticking. But it if equally important and urgent to find a model of collaborative politics, instead of competitive, that is based on values.

"As a green social-liberal, i found a natural home in ChangeUK."

I am happy to have been invited to stand on their behalf and bring my contribution to what I see as being two inter-linked crises: Brexit and the climate crises, in so far as the European response to the latter is plagued by the European paralysis resulting from the first.

Brexit is the symptom of our times, the parties that have pushed it did so from an electorlal gamble, dismissing the citizen’s interest and not carrying due process in terms of the campaign. This is happening in different forms all throughout, including on the real topics of the European Elections.

We also know that the world is waiting for European leadership on the climate topic, that if the EU was to raise its NDC, other countries, such as China would follow suit. So it is particularly important to vote with this notion in mind in this particular election.

This European election cycle is in fact about your stance on climate. Given how long it takes to shift investments and that the IPCC report released in October 2018 is giving us a little over 10 years before we hit a catastrophic level of warming, taking further due that the 415 ppm threshold was reached on the 3rd of May 2019 - these elections are about climate change.  But to tackle it you will need cross-party platforms like Change UK.


Suzana Carp, Change UK, South East

About the Author

Suzana Carp, Change UK, South East

Suzana lives in Brussels where she leads on the EU engagement work of a London based climate policy think tank.

She holds an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, awarded with Distinctions, a second Masters degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Warsaw. She completed her University degree in the United States, where she specialised in political science and international affairs.

She worked on a number of migration related projects, including working on a project investigating migration in the media across different countries, completing a comprehensive study of refugee support across the EU, etc. Her interests cover also democratic theory, having founded the project Act 4 Democracy, which strives to offer education for democracy through theatre to youth from underprivileged backgrounds and remote areas.

 

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Suzana Carp, Change UK, South East

About the Author

Suzana Carp, Change UK, South East

Suzana lives in Brussels where she leads on the EU engagement work of a London based climate policy think tank.

She holds an MSc in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, awarded with Distinctions, a second Masters degree in European Studies from the College of Europe in Warsaw. She completed her University degree in the United States, where she specialised in political science and international affairs.

She worked on a number of migration related projects, including working on a project investigating migration in the media across different countries, completing a comprehensive study of refugee support across the EU, etc. Her interests cover also democratic theory, having founded the project Act 4 Democracy, which strives to offer education for democracy through theatre to youth from underprivileged backgrounds and remote areas.

 

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