The New Year's view from Alternativet: "2019 Must Be The Year of Green Solutions"
We are always delighted to profile the major initiatives of Denmark’s Alternativet party, our inspiration and sister organisation. The text and images below are from a supplement that Alternativet placed in major Danish newspapers in the run-up to the New Year (translated by our A/UK organiser Maria Dorthea Skov, and the full PDF in Danish is here).
It’s a compilation of elements - comprising:
a letter to Greta Thunburg, the 15 year old schoolgirl whose weekly protest outside the Swedish Parliament has made her a climate-crisis icon (we profiled her here).
ten steps of policy towards a green future for Denmark
a letter from Uffe Elbaek, founder and leader of Alternativet, speaking in his position as an active candidate for a “Green” Prime Minister of Denmark (see his manifesto for a Next Denmark)
DEAR GRETA, WE HAVE THE SOLUTIONS
At the climate conference COP24 in Poland, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden spoke of the severity of the climate crisis. She sought political solutions and the courage to do what’s necessary.
In 2018, the climate crisis was talked about more than ever. Never before have we discussed to such an extent how we can eat, consume and transport more sustainably.
In 2019 we (Alternativet) would like to focus on the political solutions that will once and for all kick-start the green transition.
Alternativet’s government programme will ensure that the politics of the future are developed only when politicians are fully aware and alive to their common responsibility, as they meet to negotiate. A responsibility to ensure that we leave a better and healthier planet for future generations.
This is comprehensive and ambitious. But anything below that level of ambition is not taking the challenge that we face seriously.
That’s why we've proposed a green candidate for Prime Minister. Because the climate crises demands political leadership and the courage to change a malfunctioning system.
So dear Greta, dear youth, dear everyone: We have the green solutions. We have the courage to implement the necessary policies. But we cannot do it alone. Only together can we make Denmark a front-runner in the fight for our planet.
10 STEPS TOWARDS A GREEN FUture
A GOVERNMENT LED BY A GREEN SUPER-MINISTRY
AN ADDITIONAL 80 BILLION DKK FOR GREEN TRANSITION
CHEAPER FRUIT AND VEGGIES
END NORTH SEA OIL HUNTING
100 PERCENT RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2035
30 PERCENT CHEAPER PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
REMOVE TAX ON ELECTRIC CARS
SOLAR PANELS ON ALL NEW CONSTRUCTION
INTRODUCE CARBON TAX
20 PERCENT OF LAND IN DENMARK MUST BE NATURAL
THE GREEN PRIME MINISTER’S SPEECH
Tonight we jump off our chairs as the Town Hall clock strikes midnight [a Danish tradition]. Filled with hopes and dreams of what the New Year will bring. But I will begin my speech with another type of clock – because in 2019 we must make some paramount choices.
Right now my ‘doomsday clock’ is ticking and it reads two minutes to midnight. Two minutes to midnight.
Not since the cold war have we been so close to what the experts call a global man-made disaster. Today’s danger is not atomic bombs but that we humans live in ways that are way above the earth’s capacity.
We exploit the nature that keeps us alive and pollute the air we breathe. Not since the extinction of the dinosaurs have we eradicated animals and plants at this speed.
In other words, the climate crisis is waiting around the corner if we don’t change course immediately. Therefore we only have few years left to make the necessary decisions.
It is a serious situation. But it is not a hopeless situation. Denmark can and must again take up the position as the front-runner in the fight for our planet.
Just think about it: In Denmark you are paid to take an education. Treatment at hospital is free. And it was Denmark that taught the rest of the world how efficiently windmills can generate energy.
This is not given by nature. This is something we decided to go for and to bet on. Think about how crazy some ideas have sounded when they were first suggested in the past century. Today we would have said: “that’s impossible” or “it’s not worth it”.
History shows that it pays off to invest in new ideas, but why do we believe less in that today? I think it is because we at one point lost the political courage. The political ingenuity. The ability to think new and think big.
That’s why Alternativet was brought into the world. To think the apparently impossible. To create a welfare society that’s ‘fit for the future'. To create communities in which we have freedom to express ourselves creatively and to learn at our own speed.
Freedom to be close to nature. Freedom to be you - the best possible version of yourself.
With Alternativet’s government programme we present our suggestions for a new direction, pointing towards a green, creative and humane Denmark. A Denmark that renews, remakes and refines instead of just retains.
A Denmark where nature has legal rights. And where a green super-ministry takes on the role that the ministry of finance has today, framing government decision-making. Where we have a 30-hour workweek, unemployment benefits without counterclaims and citizen inclusion at whole new level.
In other words, we are presenting an explicit alternative to the status quo. I hope you want to be part of making it a reality.
In 2018 we spoke a lot of the consequences of the climate crisis, the responsibility of the individual and what will happen if we don’t act now. I would like that we in 2019 speak of solutions. I feel that 2019 must be the year of solutions.
Because it is about time that we stop the ‘doomsday clock’. About time we show true responsibility and due diligence for the sake of the planet and future generations. That we become the front-runners we once were, and that I know we can become again.
Happy New Year!
More from Alternativet here.