This World Environment Day, it’s Time for Nature

Since 1974, every year on 5 June World Environment Day is celebrated worldwide. This year’s theme is ‘Biodiversity’ and aims to raise awareness about this specific issue, of particular importance in the midst of a global pandemic. COVID-19 has demonstrated to us all how inter-dependent we are as human beings and the urgent need to protect nature and the planet as our common home.

EFA member parties share this common vision of a sustainable future and are actively carrying out environmental initiatives aimed at tackling the climate emergency. The Fryske Nasjonale Partij (FNP) has recently presented a joint motion to the Frisian Parliament asking for more autonomy in the management of the reduction of nitrogen emissions. This matter has been a big issue on Member State level, and the FNP’s position clearly states that in order to implement the measures in an effective way, they must be tailored to regions for more effective restoration and strengthening of nature, also making it clear that nitrogen reductions in the agricultural sector needs to go hand-in-hand with sustainability and innovation.

In the context of the Green New Deal, member of the Senedd and Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Environment and Rural Affairs Llyr Gruffydd MS, has also referred to a series of proposals ready to be put into action in Wales. These include programmes for greener homes, aimed at improving home energy efficiency, an inventory of green energy potential, the establishment of a national energy agency, and a cash injection into tidal, hydro and wind resources. These initiatives will boost jobs and transform the economy, moving away from the emission-spilling of fossil fuel companies, and instead turning towards the abundance of natural and renewable resources in Wales.

The transition towards urban sustainable mobility models is also a priority for our member party BLOC in València.  The coalition Compromís – of which BLOC forms a part – have recently implemented the bike lane and the pedestrianisation of the city’s town hall square. Since then, around 45,000 Valencians now use the bike lanes every day. The expansion of the Port of València to build a logistics activities area (ZAL) has been very controversial due to its huge negative impact on the environment, the territorial model and on the local economy. Joves-PV, a youth branch of Compromís, are strongly opposing this project.

At EFA we represent regions, peoples and stateless nations in the European Union and beyond. Some of them stand in the shadow of centralised states which exploit their natural resources, using their labour and fostering predatory economic models that undermine the rights of local minorities. As social justice is a key priority for us, we work to promote a more equitable distribution of wealth for a more sustainable planet and economy. In order to do so, we need to protect and to rely on nature and on the planet for our jobs, our wellbeing, and our future.

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