Dear President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and Executive Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans,
[cc: commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, commissioner Kadri Simson, commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, commissioner Mairead McGuinness]
When we started our school strikes, the European Union elections were approaching and you kindly spoke to us and told us that you sincerely understood and shared our concerns.
As we prepare for our 10th Global Climate Strike next March, we have to admit that we have seen some changes: you introduced the Green Deal, talked about just transition, and you even erected a huge banner on your building indicating “Next Generation UE”.
Unfortunately, these changes are only rhetorical. The truth is that you co-opted our messages without putting them into practice. In the meantime, everything continued as usual and the remaining carbon budget became increasingly slim.
You talked about the conversation – but you didn’t follow the march.
The only transition we saw was from business-as-usual to business-as-usual framed in shiny words. So while your narrative shift may vaguely show that there’s a growing awareness of the climate emergency, we can’t get away with it. After all, the only thing worse than doing nothing is doing nothing and lying about it.
Right now, the major file on your table is green taxonomy.
While its original purpose was to provide clarity and objectivity about what can be scientifically considered sustainable, it has turned into a political battleground and propaganda tool, skewed by pressure from corporate lobbies. fossil fuels. As such, your version of a taxonomy only exacerbates the problems it purports to solve.
By now you must have understood that we are not only fighting for climate justice, we are also fighting against greenwashing. But we think you are still missing a point on our strikes. They were not only an alarm about the deteriorating state of our life support systems, but also about our kidnapped democracy.
We have felt betrayed far too many times during your tenure and we are writing to you now to prevent it from happening again. Or at least make it clear that if you don’t want to listen to the young people you claim to be acting for, the young people will not stay behind.
Critics on taxonomy continue to come from right and left, even from the scientific platform that you have created ad hoc.
According to the 2016 Better Regulation Interinstitutional Agreement, what you should do now is launch a public consultation. You are well aware that you are breaking your own rules by choosing to skip this step and not listen to civil society. We believe this is a worrying symptom of the alarming state of our beloved European democracy.
We cannot allow this, and we will do everything in our power to stop your greenwashing and further our democracy. This will include legal action such as completing an official EU petitions procedure if you are failing in your obligation to involve civil society.
Do you really want to work for the next generation? Well, representing this message in your building will not be enough. Stop talking about us, and start talking with us and acting for us.