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Home Current Issue Federalist Action A Cosmopolitan Movement Against Global Warming Arises Among Young People

A Cosmopolitan Movement Against Global Warming Arises Among Young People

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  • Autore:

    Roberto Palea

  • Titolo:

    Member and former President of the Centre for Studies on Federalism

The statements of the very young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg – which have gone around the world and produced the spark that, last Friday, brought hundreds of thousands of young people from hundreds of countries worldwide to demonstrate against the inactivity of governments in the face of global warming – reminded me of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale...

about the emperor’s new clothes, in which the voice of an innocent child who dared to shout: “The king is naked,” pointed out the truth to the multitude of complacent or just gullible subjects.

Greta said, among other things, addressing her parents, their peers and those who rule the world: “one day, perhaps, my children will ask me about you, why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else in the world and yet you’re stealing their future in front of their very eyes. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. (...) Politics is also responsible to the voters of tomorrow. (...) Governments must sign and implement the Paris Agreements, taking into account the recommendations of the IPCC, which sets the limit not to be exceeded at +1.5 C° versus what it was at the beginning of the industrial era, to avoid environmental disaster”.

With these watchwords, millions of young people and very young people have become the key players in the world, to remind us that time is running out: either we will change the development model, still based on fossil fuels and not on renewable energies, with no recycling of urban and industrial waste and with a great waste of water and natural resources (by definition “finite”), or we may jeopardize the very existence of mankind.

In the short term, we risk falling into a financial and economic crisis worse than the most recent one in 2008, and experiencing even worse violence than the wars we are witnessing, because the unequal consumption of natural resources and the migration generated by the progressive desertification of land will further exacerbate conflicts and tensions between peoples.

All of a sudden, both Trump’s statements that America has used every available energy source to sustain its economic growth and the declarations of governments around the world, developed and not, that the fight against climate change should start elsewhere, certainly not from their own country, appear irresponsible and seriously guilty towards citizens and future generations.

The #FridayforFuture protesters marched, supporting slogans of similar content and demonstrating a truly commendable level of awareness and information. They presented themselves completely free from the conditioning of political parties and have skipped all hierarchies in all levels of government, collectively addressing the governments of the entire world, to whose inactivity or inadequacy they attribute the environmental disaster.

With constant reference to the Paris Climate Agreements of December 2015 and the IPCC Special Report of December 2018, they expressed their willingness to interface directly, at the global level, with the UN and in particular with the Secretariat of the UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) which chairs the intergovernmental negotiations on climate, recognizing the “global” nature of climate change, to be addressed jointly, by all countries of the Earth.

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