Written together with Steinar Winther Christensen, chairman of the board, Gro Nylander and Finn Bjørnar Lund, board members of the Grandparents' Climate Action (BKA)
According to Statistics Norway, it is approx. 850 people who are 000 years or older in our country, and another 67 who are between 1 and 140. We who write this are all somewhere within these age ranges. In other words, more and more people are getting older. Some people look at this with concern, but we rather think that our experience and thoughtfulness can help move Norwegian climate and environmental policy in the necessary direction.
After we have followed the Norwegian Environment Agency's press release of the UN Climate Panel's 6th main report IPCC on August 9, it is en main conclusion that pushes itself forward, as we see it: The parliamentary elections in 2021 and 2025 must be climate elections.
Science speaks its clear language: It is man-made climate change that is now leading the world to a place we do not want to be. We who have lived for a while have a great shared responsibility for that. There will be days when increased frequency and strength in extreme weather, loss of topsoil and crops and possible resource disputes will create so much pressure on the fabric of society that most people will feel the world as an insecure place. And it will first and foremost affect our grandchildren. There, the corona pandemic will appear as a mild strain in conditions.
Eight environmental measures
We therefore encourage in this article in particular everyone over 50 to reflect on the following:
We need a policy and societal development with a consumption that does not exceed the earth's tolerable limit. Unlimited consumption growth on a planet with limited resources is not possible. The rich part of the world needs to significantly reduce consumption.
Norwegian emissions must be cut in line with the Paris Agreement's objectives as a minimum. Quota purchases are sewing pillows under the arms of Norwegians and will delay the necessary domestic adjustment. Carbon uptake in forests and soils must be increased, and the carbon stored in bogs must be allowed to lie. The use of plant-based biofuels that can increase greenhouse gas emissions must be stopped.
Reduced supply of fossil fuels. The phasing out of oil and gas production in Norway must start as soon as possible. All new exploration for oil and gas must be stopped, ie no more exploration licenses. The exploration refund scheme must be phased out immediately.
Reduced demand and consumption of fossil fuels. Higher taxes must be targeted to reduce emissions. For example, by introducing a carbon tax that in a socially just way rewards climate-friendly, and burdens climate-damaging, behavior.
A green transformation of society. We must focus on sustainable, renewable solutions in all sectors. A concrete plan for fair restructuring must be put in place as soon as possible, so that new climate jobs are created at least as quickly as jobs are lost when the fossil fuel industry is wound up. Planning of new motorways or runways is halted and replaced by a major investment in low-emission transport solutions, high-speed trains and electric ferries, in addition to public transport and bicycles.
Economic transition. Considerably more must be invested to build solutions based on renewable energy to replace fossil energy. Investments in fossil fuels and other climate-damaging activities are being phased out and redirected to investments for sustainable change. Parts of the Government Pension Fund Global are used as a climate policy instrument for sustainable change globally and in Norway. An extra percentage of the national budget is set aside for climate measures in developing countries – and Norway's contribution to the UN Climate Fund is increased considerably.
A lifestyle that leads to reduced emissions. The power of example is important, and ethical responsibility can be pointed out without moralizing. Politicians' responsibility is to stimulate environmentally friendly behavior by ensuring that consumers have better opportunities than today to choose environmentally friendly alternatives.
The state must ensure that the people become part of the solution, as stated in Article 12 of the Paris Agreement: "The Parties shall cooperate to take appropriate measures to improve education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information in the field of climate change, recognizing the importance of these conditions in strengthening the instruments used under this Agreement." . This must, among other things, mean that financial support for grassroots work is increased.
Human Rights Court
We have a solid constitution. It has its own environmental clause, 112, which is a clear marching order for us in 2021: "Everyone has the right to an environment that ensures health, and to a nature where productivity and diversity are preserved." The Grandparents' Climate Action (BKA), and other Norwegian organizations, have therefore complained to the European Court of Human Rights on the basis of our constantly new exploration licenses in the north.
The initiative for BKA was taken as far back as 2006, when librarian Halfdan Wiik brought the Future into our hands and supporters such as Kåre Willoch, Erik Dammann, Reiulf Steen, Ebba Haslund, Rakel Surlien, Hermod Skånland and Per Kleppe. They already understood then that we were at the transition to a new era that requires other choices. This is what many of today's young people have understood. We in BKA now want to ally ourselves with the young people for a new and better future.