What is it to be green?
Green is all about diversity. These ideas stem from the understanding that everything in nature is connected and interdependent.
One issue never exists independently from others. Threats to economic, social and environmental wellbeing are part of the same problem since they share systemic roots. We recognise that one of these threats cannot be mitigated without tackling the others. Given that the threats are contextual, the solutions also need to stem from local realities.
For example, since climate change disproportionally affects the most vulnerable, it should not be analysed without a social justice lens if its causes and effects are to be fully understood from a sustainability perspective.
We believe that Green is an overarching framework providing a holistic view on society. Green values are democratic principles orbiting around;
- Ecological Wisdom,
- Social Justice,
- Respect for Diversity,
- Participatory Democracy, and
Green principles are the foundation of green policies globally. The principles have been developed and adopted by members of global greens, the international network of green parties and political movements
We understand sustainability as the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time. To achieve sustainability for humanity is to provide for the needs of present and future generations within the finite resources of the earth. It is about understanding and reshaping the harmful structures that have separated human activity from the natural systems that we rely on.
Social justice is the equitable distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally, to meet basic human needs unconditionally, and to ensure that all citizens have full opportunities for personal and social development. There is no social justice without environmental justice, and no environmental justice without social justice.
We acknowledge that human beings are part of the natural world, and therefore we respect the specific values of all forms of life, including non-human species. We know that human society depends on the ecological resources of the planet and must ensure the integrity of ecosystems and preserve biodiversity and the resilience of life-supporting systems. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the limits of our planet. Taken together, this is Ecological Wisdom.
Participatory democracy at every level of society is key to inclusive decision-making. People have a fundamental right to express their views, be listened to, and thus directly participate in and influence the environmental, economic, social and political decisions that affect their lives. Therefore, power and responsibility must be concentrated in local and regional communities, and only transferred to higher levels of governance when essential.
Greens are committed to non-violence and strive towards a culture of peace and cooperation between states, inside societies and between individuals, as the basis of global security. We understand non-violence as the solution for change and handling conflicts. A peaceful approach based on the principles of inclusion and diversity is not only the best method to create change; it is the way in which we strive to live. Security should not rest mainly on military strength but on cooperation, sound economic and social development, environmental safety, and respect for human rights.
Respect for Diversity
The social system we have inherited is based on politics of privilege. It is neither just nor sustainable. Whereas the basis for a healthy society is the understanding that human beings are equal participants in a common ethical world, all the while recognising everyone’s uniqueness and differences.
Yet, respect for diversity can only be achieved after removing structural barriers, empowering marginalised groups and freeing society from any discrimination based on race, colour, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, social origin, mental or physical ability or any other prejudice. Sustainable society is only possible through voluntary co-operation between empowered individuals free from any discrimination.
The Global Greens Charter can be found HERE
Change requires commitment, but the entire responsibility cannot lie within individuals. Sporadic individual contributions, practising green lifestyles and upholding green values is praise-worthy, but not enough. Society is something people create together, and politics is the key to generating change in society. Green politics unites the above-mentioned principles under a spectrum of perspectives, policies, strategies, and actions and shows the way to a sustainable democratic society.
Greens around the world have evolved from the societal perception of single-issue environmentalists into comprehensive and mature political parties, capable of winning elections and serving at all levels of government.