For Our Grandchildren (4RG, Canada) and Grandparents Climate Campaign (GCC, Norway) have published a «Statement to national and international political leaders from Concerned Grandparents – united for our grandchildrens’ sustainable future». Svein Tveitdal from the GCC steering group, recently delivered the joint statement to the Chairperson of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri. Tveitdal says that seniors have an obligation to put pressure on political leaders to take action. – Our generation benefitted most from the fossil fuel economy. We must now pay back and work to correct a situation to which we have contributed.
Statement July 2014
International Concerned Grandparents call for a new moral leadership, giving priority to the safety of all our grandchildren and their right to a sustainable planet. Putting their best interest at the top of national and international political agendas will demonstrate solidarity between generations.
The latest IPCC reports leave no doubt – the health of our planet is in grave jeopardy.
Our grandchildren must cope with the risk of uncontrollable global warming in a world ridden by famine, sickness, displacement and despair. This risk has greatly increased, yet international climate negotiations are stalled.
The search for new sources of fossil fuel grows. More fertile land is being stripped, precious water contaminated, and more habitats for animals and humans disrupted.
We know that most fossil reserves must remain in the ground if global warming of more than 2 °C is to be avoided. Consequently, coal must be phased out faster. Environmentally costly fossil fuel sources such as tar sands, coal seam gas and shale gas cannot be exploited. In the fragile High Arctic, where unique habitat and precious marine life must be protected and prioritized, oil exploitation must stop.
“Turning down the heat” for the sake of our grandchildren will require changed attitudes and sincere efforts to slow down consumerism in affluent societies. We need to recognize and adjust to the limits of the Earth’s resources. We must regard saving, caution and moderation as positive values – economically beneficial to both today’s and future societies.
As elders we acknowledge our time-honoured role as caretakers of the inheritance of future generations. We owe grandchildren everywhere sustainable living conditions, clean air and water, fertile and uncontaminated land, and a contained global climate.
In short, we owe them a planet Earth as wonderful as the one we have enjoyed.
Therefore we call upon concerned grandparents of the world to join us in efforts to force political leaders – national and international – to protect the rights and safety of children and all future generations.
Mr. Halfdan Wiik, chair, Grandparents Climate Campaign, Norway
Mr. Peter Jones, chair, On behalf of For Our Grandchildren (4RG) Canada
Heading for New York
By publicizing this statement we hope to awake a stronger sense of responsibility amongst politicians and grandparents of the world, says Halfdan Wiik (Chair, GCC). We will circulate the statement widely in connection with the September UN Climate Summit and People’s Climate March. Members from both organizations will join forces with thousands of others who share our values.
– We are impatient, Wiik explains. We know a fair global climate regime will cost a lot of money. Yet, the costs of continued inaction will be much greater! It’s a question of cleaner air, energy safety and improved health for all the Earth’s citizens.
Deputation to (UNFCCC)
We have brought the Norwegian-Canadian grandparent alliance to the attention of UN officials and politicians. We expect to meet Christiane Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – the international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio 1992). We are in contact with her staff and are pleased that our statement is already published on their web page: http://newsroom.unfccc.int