Humanity is confronted by historic challenges. While the economic and financial crisis has rocked the foundations of our economic system and threatened the livelihoods of millions of people here in Europe and in the rest of the world, we cannot afford any further delay in tackling the crises in the realms of climate change and global justice. It is by no means certain that we shall succeed in managing the crises that face us and in finding sustainable solutions based on solidarity. The tasks that lie ahead pose a formidable challenge, but at the same time more and more people across the world are now aware of the need for concerted and resolute action to resolve these crises. This means that a historic opportunity is presenting itself to renew the foundations of our economic and social system. The crises are asking fundamental questions about the ways in which we run our economies, the ways in which we consume and the ways in which we transport ourselves and our goods. Indeed, many people today are already seeking new paths towards a good life and sound economic management. They have no wish simply to carry on as before.
The Green New Deal that is on the table is a substantive outline of what can and must be done now. Underlying the Green New Deal is the realisation that we cannot resolve the various crises unless we work together, because all three crises have common causes, such as the obsession with quick returns in our economic system, because a political response to the crises must accommodate the interests of all stakeholders – from the developing countries’ right to a better future to our own peoples’ concern for their jobs – and because a wholehearted adoption of a new approach will help us to emerge faster, better and with greater foresight from the current economic crisis with good jobs geared to future requirements and a focus on sustainability. Any attempt to play one crisis off against the others, to postpone responses to climate change or the quest for global justice on account of the economic crisis, will fail. It is today that resolute efforts are needed to achieve a better tomorrow – for everyone.