A culture of change
While international heads of state, ministers and other specialists meet in Katowice at the COP24 to negotiate a joint way forward on the climate agenda, a light of hope and determination is shining throughout Europe and beyond:
Demonstrations calling for climate action are sparking up, supporting political decisions towards a sustainable future. Brussels saw a record of 75.000 people on the streets on December 2nd. Very diverse civil society organisations and people of different political convictions are joining voices, showing us that environmental causes are no longer a partisan agenda. These causes concern us all. In order to successfully implement the environmental agenda, however, we must never forget that the Sustainable Development Agenda has 17 interlinked goals. Quality education and the reduction of inequalities, for example, are mandatory in order to advance on all other goals. Industry must push towards clean industrial sectors. In this sense, the EESC, because of its structure, can support all strands of civil society to commit to the sustainable agenda.
For CSOs have a key role to play in this endeavour. We are being shown that climate action must be carried and understood by citizens, in order to implement difficult decisions that call for fundamental changes in our way of living. I am thus convinced that the 'Sustainable development' priority of my Presidency is more urgent than ever. It was an honour to be able to represent the voice of organised civil society in Katowice during the COP summit. With only five months to go before the next European elections, I think that we are moving in the right direction. I believe that in this end-of-year season of lights, we can look forward to a cultural change, driven by the joined hands and voices of civil society, shining the way to a sustainable future.
Co-President of the Liaison Group