Stop climate change immediately!
At the UN Climate Conference 2015 in Paris, the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol was developed and adopted through the "Paris Convention". Its primary goal is to limit the global rise in temperature to as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible compared with the pre-industrial age. This is intended to limit the risks and consequences of man-made climate change.
As things stand at present, Germany is drastically failing to meet its own climate targets for 2020. Because these own climate targets were significantly less ambitious than the targets in the Paris Climate Agreement, it is urgently necessary to act politically.
In 2018, the Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment, commonly known as the Coal Commission, will debate socially and environmentally sustainable change away from the use of fossil fuels. The Commission's work will determine how we deal with the climate objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement for the coming decades.
To achieve the 1.5 degree target, according to the state of research, the industrialised countries would have to phase out all fossil fuels by 2030, and no man-made greenhouse gases would be allowed to emerge from 2050 (IPCC 2018).
As a young generation, we are both the first generation to be affected by the effects of climate change and the last generation whose actions can limit global warming and its social and ecosystem consequences to a level that does not bring about the collapse of the global climate system. The consequences of climate change, such as further loss of biological diversity, extreme weather events, flight and migration, and scarcity of resources, can still be compensated to a limited extent. This entails a special responsibility for us.
Man-made climate change is an intergenerational and social problem in several respects:
- It has an increasing impact on the lives of our generations, as well as those of future generations, who have had little or no chance to change the political situation for the better.
- On average, it puts the economically poorer regions of the world at a greater disadvantage, although they contribute less to climate change.
- Climate measures discriminate disproportionately against people in difficult circumstances, or they live in regions particularly affected by climate change that they cannot simply leave.
- The restructuring of climate-damaging industries also often threatens jobs unless long-term concepts for female employees* are in place.
As a young generation, we must urgently and emphatically demand sustainable, socially just and ecological development for ourselves and for all future generations.
The German Federal Youth Council represents the interests of young people and is therefore dedicated to climate protection. We stand for the ideals of global justice and a social society as well as a sustainable way of life. As the next generation, we demand from the federal, state and local governments:
1. a social-ecological transformation of all areas of society in the sense of the "Goals for Sustainable Development" of the United Nations,
2. compliance with the national climate target by 2020 and more ambitious climate targets for the years 2030 and 2050 based on scientific findings,
3. a consistent energy turnaround, and the decarbonisation of society in particular:
- a planned phase-out of coal-fired power generation. The Commission for Growth, Structural Change and Employment (Coal Commission) is to draw up a roadmap for this. There is a need for targeted support for employees in the regions particularly affected by change. The goal must be a process of structural change and investments that guarantee that nobody is left behind;
- the further development of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) into an instrument that significantly increases the share of renewable energies and relieves the burden on private individuals. Exceptions should be re-examined and a transparent process should be established;
- a drastic increase in energy efficiency in the public sector and incentive systems for energy-efficient management in the private sector;
- a consistent and final renunciation of nuclear power in Germany and the commitment at European level to a European Union free of nuclear energy;
- a ban on fracking within Germany.
4. a climate-friendly traffic turn, in particular by:
- the development of local public transport and long-distance rail as an alternative to private transport, especially in rural areas;
- the promotion of cycling through the development of its infrastructure, such as cycle paths and the provision of hire bikes and load bikes;
- a conversion of the towns and municipalities into living spaces that are friendly to pedestrians*with short distances by mixing the functions of working, living and supplying;
- the medium-term shift from internal combustion engine passenger car production to climate-friendly vehicle technologies, the end of diesel subsidies and the withdrawal of the EU biofuel admixture regime;
- the introduction of a kerosene tax and VAT on international flights and a special levy on short-haul flights;
- climate-friendly company mobility management;
- a shift of the current road-bound, climate-damaging freight transport towards climate- and environmentally-friendly transport options.
5. future-oriented, more climate-friendly agriculture, in particular:
- through the launch of an agricultural dialogue in which representatives from politics, farmers, consumers and civil society actors are jointly involved in a transformation towards a more sustainable, resource-saving, soil-preserving and low-emission production method;
- by means of a support policy that rewards farmers' sustainable agriculture for their social and climate-protecting achievements;
- the conservation of cultural landscapes to offset carbon dioxide emissions;
- by enabling a young, innovative agriculture that is ready for change by ensuring early farm handovers and the expansion of support for young farmers.
6. to promote sustainable economic practices, in particular through:
- the move away from constant economic growth towards a society in which everyone can live well;
- the further development of ecological taxes and subsidies as well as the abolition of climate-damaging subsidies.
7. the maintenance and development of green spaces, including as carbon dioxide sinks, such as in particular:
- ecosystems, such as forests and bogs;
- the extension of the network of protected areas such as nature reserves, flora-fauna habitats (FFH areas) and national parks;
- the more consistent pursuit and expansion of the objective of the National Biodiversity Strategy to preserve 2 percent of Germany's land area as wilderness;
- the maintenance and development of urban green areas (parks, allotments, etc.) to improve the microclimate and to protect cities from exhaust emissions.
8. the establishment of a sustainable policy, in particular through:
- the adoption of an ambitious climate protection law by the end of 2019;
- the mandatory implementation of a sustainability check of legislative proposals at all levels;
- the establishment of a permanent youth representation of the DBJR with a seat and vote in the Council for Sustainable Development;
- the consistent implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in government action and the further development of the German Sustainability Strategy by introducing measurable and verifiable indicators.
Majority by six votes to the contrary decided by the DBJR General Assembly on 26/27 October 2018 in Dresden.