Declaration (Grandparents for the climate, Lausanne August 21, 2014)
We don't' inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we lend it to our children…
This grassroots movement for the climate stems from the great concern of a generation, namely that of today's grandparents, faced with the risks linked to the deteriorating conditions of life on our planet. Our involvement, however, stretches far beyond our own families. It focuses ultimately on changing our consumer behaviour.
What's happening today
Droughts, floods, diseases, migrations, food shortages, the threat of conflicts…
The second part of the fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (Groupe d'experts intergouvernemental de l'ONU sur l'evolution du climat – GIEC), published in March 2014, has recorded the visible impacts of climate change.
Nevertheless, there is still a glimmer of hope.
“The risks linked to climate change can be reduced by limiting both its speed and scope”, we are reminded by the IPCC, who recommend measures “of adaptation to the inescapable disturbances”.
Therefore, we have to carry on the struggle against the causes of climate change as well as mobilise without delay to face its consequences.
To give our descendants a chance to live on the Earth with a climate and an environment which favour the renewal of life.
Our age gives us certain rights, e.g. a seat in public transport, discounts, sometimes even respect. Faced with the urgency of the climate issues, we also recognise our responsibilities.
Many of us start our retirement with plenty of energy, which we can put to good use by giving hope to future generations of children. It's with this energy that we want to act, basing our actions on the scientific authority of the IPCC reports.
- worried about future generations
- with a considerable amount of life experience
- conscious of our political power when exercising our right to vote
- with economic power due to social progress
- independent, thus freer than ever in both word and action
- privileged as a generation largely spared from global conflict
- not always sufficiently attentive to the consequences of technological
progress which still blur our vision
we have the time, the right and the responsibility to work towards a more harmonious world for both present and future generations. We must do everything to preserve life and the quality of life for everyone on Earth.
Moderation, solidarity, coherence, watchful benevolence
Our specific characteristic
Affective and intergenerational responsibility
To continually alert Swiss residents and citizens, in particular in the French-speaking region, to the necessity of radically changing our individual and collective attitudes and behaviour
To make use of the political channels open to us in our direct democracy
To fundamentally re-examine our behaviour and our choices in our homes, consumer behaviour and transport, in order to be coherent
To give preference to products we buy that are low on “grey energy”
(“grey energy” is the quantity of energy necessary in the life cycle of materials or products: production, extraction, transformation, manufacturing, transport, operation, use, maintenance and, finally, recycling)
To restore confidence to our fellow citizens by highlighting the advantages of a transition towards a more moderate world
To promote a new and indispensable human solidarity
To join our efforts to those of other senior citizen groups who are already engaging in similar activities in North America and Europe
We are conscious of the global dimension of these problems. Therefore, we strive towards a co-existence between those countries that need to expand their consumption of basic goods and those, like Switzerland, that need to decrease their consumption.
The complexity of the global market, the diversity of cultures concerned make us humble before this task which necessitates a strong determination in the involvement of as many people as possible.
Our relative success and that of the generation of our adult offspring, our ignorance, our slowness and the forces of inertia facing us will probably result in a great amount of irreparable damage.
In the end, nature is less threatened than humanity and its civilizations.
Annex to the Declaration – action proposed
In the short term
- to gather together interested individuals who share the same objective
- to expand our movement
- to promote responsible behaviour by giving a good example and emulating good practice
- to create work groups
- to decentralise the movement by setting up local teams
- to identify NGOs and media that we can collaborate with
- to make ourselves known by creating a flyer
- to promote initiatives in favour of our objective: to have petitions signed, to provoke a chain reaction to spread them as far as possible
- to create and maintain the page provided to our association on the web by “La Revue Durable” (Review for Sustainability) and activate social networks
- to sensitise movements of senior citizens already in existence and their press (e.g. Generation)
- to select sustainable investments for our own savings and suggest them to the greater public
- in the spirit of complete openness, to support any well-meant propositions favourable to the objective of our movement, regardless of the religious or political opinions of their authors
In the medium term
- to follow the decisions made on the federal, cantonal and communal levels concerning energy policy and express our association's support or disapproval
- to use all channels open to us in our Swiss political system in order to achieve our objectives. Directly call upon our representatives in the legislative and executive branches on all levels (communal, cantonal, federal)
- to react to any discrepancies observed in relation to international engagements of Switzerland on greenhouse gas emissions
- to take a position on the purchase of foreign emission certificates that mask Switzerland's mitigated results in its national and international engagements
- to promote eco-fiscal policy
- to organise topic centred vigils
- to spark opinion by writing letters of protest
- to go out into the streets, organise events, a march to Paris end of 2015 for the major event there on the climate
In the long term
- to be active in the whole country in order to become a force to be reckoned with and a credible opposition
- to actively participate with the civil society, the economic and political actors in finding solutions during a transition period in order to provide sustainable protection for natural resources and the environment
- to establish and maintain links to all the national and international demonstrations/movements working in the same direction (e.g. Alternatiba…)
- to highlight the consequences of an unsettled climate on food production (agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing), as well as the availability and quality of water worldwide
- to intervene against the financing of fossil fuels. Limiting climate warming to 2 degrees Centigrade forbids the exploitation of 85% of known reserves
- to create cooperatives for the production of sustainable energy for individual buildings, neighbourhoods or communities.
- to publish statements, communicate with the media
- to create intergenerational synergy in order to sensitise children and adolescents to this issue.