Creating Opportunities out of Changes for Switzerland

There are numerous meaningful projects to counteract climate change. They do good twice over. Because the quality of life improves when we implement them. Maya Graf, a candidate for the Federal Parliament and an organic farmer, inspires thought and trade.

Die Zeit drängt (Time is of the Essence) is the title of a book by Carl Friedrich von Weizäcker published in 1989. The German philosopher and nuclear physicist called for a World Assembly of Christians for Justice, Peace and the Custody of Creation. He was deeply concerned about the state of the earth and the destructive power that modern man has developed. His central statement of that time: "The world is falling apart.”

Courageously lead the way, we are talking about Earth

And 30 years later? Thanks to the brilliant, courageous Greta Thunberg and with the support of thousands of scientists all over the world, young (and now also older and more old) people are taking to the streets. They accuse our generation of risking nothing less than the earth's future. Their justified slogan: "We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing our future".

Yes, climate change threatens not only our economy and the four seasons, but also the basis of our children's lives. We need climate safeguards more urgently than ever. The Paris climate agreement, although signed by almost all countries, is only being tentatively implemented. We will not even reach the 2-degree Celsius target if we continue at the current tempo.

Climate champion Switzerland, our great opportunity

It is therefore clear to me that if we act quickly and courageously now, the necessary changes will become a social and economic opportunity. Switzerland can and must afford to be one of the climate-change pioneers. We still have about 10 to 15 years to free ourselves from dependence on fossil fuels and prevent climate collapse. It is probably our last chance to set the course for the necessary transformation of our society and our economy without any compulsion.

Many projects and ideas are already showing us what a life conducive to people and the climate could look like today: more and more people are joining forces and developing new approaches to strengthen regional economic cycles, to promote working and living in the same place, to prioritise slow-moving traffic, to live together as a cooperative between generations, to share and "up-cycle" consumer goods as a counterweight to consumerism and throw-away mentality, to strengthen local ecological and social standards, and to promote the development of local ecological food production ... Such projects inspire hope and courage. Because they make the transformation to opportunity and ... they enhance our quality of life.

The future is in front of us, not behind us

To make such pioneering projects standard, the parameters must be set correctly, and politicians must assume responsibility. People must not be left alone with the consequences of the climate crisis. It is now up to politicians to urgently draft clear laws, to advocate cost transparency, incentive taxes and, where necessary, bans.

It is up to them, to us, to quickly implement the Energy Strategy 2050 adopted by the people and to adopt effective measures to revise the CO2 Act to implement the climate objectives of the Paris Convention. To this end, the progressive forces at all levels of our community must be empowered.

This urgently requires more women and more young people in positions of authority and influence. Only with new majorities that are prepared to take courageous decisions and win the confidence of the population, will we bring Switzerland to the urgently needed climatic and social future trajectory. Time is of the essence.

Maya Graf

Member of the Federation Parliament, Green Party Baselland, social worker, organic farmer (lives with her family on the family-owned organic farm in Sissach), member of the Commission for Social Security and Health SGKN, member of the Business Audit Commission GPKN and GPDel, President of the National Council 2013

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