Protecting the climate, reinforcing justice

Protecting the climate, reinforcing justice

We promote climate justice, as well as compliance with and implementation of international climate protection agreements worldwide. Our emphasis is on a social-ecological transformation: we want a sustainable and fair economic system characterised by low emissions, resource conservation and social inclusion.

People and nature must take centre-stage in debates on new economic systems. To this end, we pursue cooperation with committed representatives of trade unions and environmental movements, as well as academia and politics across the world. The goal is to build stable, broad and progressive alliances to take us into a sustainable future. We identify common ground, bridge conflicting interests and create platforms for a transparent and open dialogue.

Further information on the international climate and energy policy of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung can be found at «Climate Change, Energy and Environment»




What does a socio-ecological transformation look like in concrete terms, and how can we implement it together around the world? more

International Climate and Energy Policy: Six Messages

The rich industrialised countries, with their resource-intensive economic model, are mainly responsible for the climate crisis. They thus bear a historical responsibility to support poorer countries in their efforts to adapt to climate change and to tackle the climate crisis. Only this way can climate justice be realised globally. Climate justice goes beyond protecting particularly vulnerable population groups at national level. We enable dialogue on an equal footing between partners from the global North and South in order to develop common climate-friendly solutions for the crisis.

Climate change puts millions of people at risk. In response, the international community, with the Paris climate agreement, is seeking to limit global warming to a maximum 1.5 degrees Celsius. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development laid down additional goals for sustainable development. Thus, all countries have a responsibility and an obligation to implement their national climate protection plans and drastically cut their CO2 emissions. Together with our partners in the trade unions and civil society we are calling for a robust climate protection regime. A self-evident prerequisite for that is to acknowledge scientific findings as such. In this context we are working out practical solutions with our partners to embed climate protection in society.

In many parts of the world, women and girls are hardest hit by the climate crisis. They therefore have a key role to play in the development of adjustment strategies and solutions. They must be involved in decision-making processes as partners on an equal footing. To this end, feminists are developing approaches for a gender-balanced climate and energy policy; we support their efforts. It is clear to us that climate policy instruments must be designed in a gender-sensitive way and women’s living conditions and interests must be taken into account. In order to ensure this, we are particularly helping feminist actors make their voices heard in climate policy debates.

The energy sector is important for many areas of life, creating and safeguarding jobs. However, it is also a driver of climate change. We regard the climate-friendly transition of the economy from fossil to renewable energies as an opportunity for innovation and employment with decent working conditions. The renewable energy provision of the future will be decentralised and thus bring development potential into rural areas. The transition of the economy is a social and political process that must be shaped in terms of a just transition, a fair structural transformation. We thus promote debates with global studies, training and consultation at local level.

Progressive climate policy needs strong social alliances. In many of our partner countries civil society participation in political decision-making is by no means a given. Nevertheless, climate activists, environmentalists, human rights activists and trade unionists are indispensable if there is to be a social-ecological transformation. We want and need to involve these actors more closely in climate-policy debates and forge strong civil society alliances with and between them. In particular, environmental organisations and trade unions have long represented conflicting positions. We try to reconcile these supposed opposites: we can only tackle the social and the ecological questions together. Only in that way can a just transition – fair structural change – and an ambitious climate policy succeed.

Our economic system is characterised by a desire for growth and the wealth it creates is distributed extremely unequally. That inflicts severe damage on nature and its ecosystems. Within the framework of a social-ecological transformation the state must intervene more directly. Changes in consumer behaviour, for example, are not enough to bring about a switch from fossil to renewable energies or socially responsible production. Necessary change will succeed only when we combine regulatory with socially just measures, which incentivise climate-friendly behaviour. It will succeed when we invest in climate-friendly technologies, make better use of digitalisation and bring about a change of awareness in society. In short, we must orient the economy to the common good.

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