Environment, sustainable production and consumption.
The logic of neoliberalism is by its nature wasteful and predatory. Today’s technologies would be able to cover the basic needs of the whole humankind. Instead, financial capital groups create artificial needs (by subliminal advertising) in countries with the buying power, thus exploiting human and natural resources everywhere. The Third World is the most vulnerable, more than 15,000 children die every day of hunger and curable diseases. The irreversible anthropogenic climate change is the most acute danger for the Earth, as well as a global social catastrophe.
Vision of a new lifestyle:
There is an absolute necessity for Europe to change towards a new lifestyle of sustainable production and consumption. Saving materials and energy, radical change from using fossil fuels to renewable resources, severing economic growth from the increased transportation of goods, assuring chemical and biological safety and halting the loss of biodiversity – these are not a choice but a necessity.
People's vital interests of people and health must be put above the interests of corporations and financial groups repeating endlessly the “loss of competitiveness” – which in fact only means increasing their already enormous profits. European nations should not compete through social, economical and environmental dumping but work together for the change towards sustainability: we have to pass nature and society to future generations in a state no worse than we inherited from our ancestors. The first steps towards this end are: internalization of “external costs” (for any use of natural resources, polluting and waste dumping), environmental tax reform, including the Tobin tax, and introducing sets of indicators to measure sustainability instead of today’s single indicator, gross national product (GDP), which says nothing about the quality of life. The new sets have to be composed of economic, environmental and social indicators.
A new radically different conception of development must be adopted: economical in its use of natural resources, ecological, respectful of the environment, centred on the development of human capabilities and respecting cultural diversity, protection of the natural environment and maritime safety.
Also new forms of mobility should save energy by supporting public transport over individual ones, giving preference to railways over road and air transport as well as avoiding unnecessary transport of goods, e.g, by introducing tolls and taxing fuels for air and ship transportation. Alternative transport must be facilitated through a combination of walking and cycling with the public transit..
Natural resources, shared assets of humanity.
Natural resources must not become subject to intellectual property rights or patents. Remaining outside the private and commercial domains, they must be managed by public policies and involve citizens’ participation. They must remain beyond the scope of commercial treaties.
∙ Water is a common asset and access to safe drinking water is a fundamental right to which all must have access. Water distribution must be provided by public institutions and its management must include the participation by citizens.
∙ Energy consumption must undergo radical changes. New choices are required around the following principles: increased economies in the use of energy, diversification of sources and priority to renewable and sustainable resources. To economize energy, non-polluting transportation must be encouraged and public transportation developed.
∙ Similarly, the habitat must respect strict ecological norms.
Environmental risks must be factored into public health policies.
Regulations must clearly control polluting industries, in particular concerning the production and commercialization of chemical substances.
Public institutions must guarantee, as a fundamental individual right, food that is healthy to eat and in sufficient quantity
∙ In the face of multinational corporations exploiting peasants, it is necessary to develop and apply pu∙ blic regulations in order to discourage their practices. On the contrary, support must be provided for non-polluting agricultural systems, labour-intensive rather than capital-intensive, as well as closed distribution circuits. Polluting agricultural practices must be discouraged. Production of GM products must be prohibited (except in a context that is strictly confined to basic research).
∙ The principle of food sovereignty, that is the right to decide one’s own agricultural and food policies, must be respected for all regions of the world and for all countries. The countries of Europe therefore have a particular responsibility in developing their agricultural policies and in their commercial treaties with countries in the South. These agricultural and commercial policies must take a fundamental new direction to respect the principle of food sovereignty.
Peace, equality, justice, freedom, democracy, social and fundamental rights!
For another Europe, for another world founded on solidarity, a sustainable environment!