As part of The Perspective op-ed series on all Swedish parliamentary parties, this text is a contribution by the Green Party’s Co-spokesperson, Minister for the Environment and Deputy PM Isabella Lövin. It does not necessarily reflect the views of UPF Lund and The Perspective.
What will the world look like in ten years? What will power relations, alliances, technology and democracy look like and what will the state of the climate and biodiversity be? After spring’s sudden pandemic outbreak, we know one thing for sure – nothing can be taken for granted in today’s extremely globalised world.
Crises such as the coronavirus can lead to major changes in how societies are organised, the view on global value chains and the tolerance for extensive surveillance of citizens can be radically changed. Countries are turning inwards. The United States has turned its back on the international community, and has left the playing field free for China and Russia to advance their positions.
What will happen? The answer is that the question is open. We decide the future ourselves through our decisions here and now. The insight into it, and my desire to take responsibility for the future, is the very reason why I became a Green Party politician. It is also the reason why the Green Party was formed – the realisation that a policy of solidarity is needed, and that the deep gaps between rich and poor and the pointless consumption of Earth’s resources must cease. We must stop living as if we are the last generation on our planet.
Fortunately, there is already a clear, jointly-adopted agenda for the world for the coming decade. Together we will eradicate poverty and hunger, realise human rights for all, achieve equality and empowerment for all women and girls, and ensure lasting protection for the planet and its natural resources. It is the purpose of Agenda 2030 – with seventeen global goals – that the world’s countries jointly agreed upon five years ago. It was a global political success that the world succeeded in agreeing on goals that cover all three dimensions of sustainability: the economic, the social and the environmental.
The map is drawn – now we need the will and the power to reach our goal in the next ten years. I understand that today it might seem like a utopia and impossible to achieve. In the five years that have passed since the world agreed on Agenda 2030, the most fundamental values and human rights have been challenged by conservative and nationalist forces. And right now we are only seeing the beginning of the consequences of the new coronavirus spreading across the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic affects many people’s health and lives and the measures to reduce the spread of infection have major consequences for the world economy. The global spread shows just how quickly local crises can become global and affect us all. It also displays how urgent joint international efforts are for the future. In these times, we need to show even more determination. All of us who want to see an equal and fair future must work hard together.
The Green Party runs a feminist foreign policy with regards to climate, peace and democracy. We want Sweden to be a strong voice for justice, peace and sustainable development. We shall contribute solutions – showing the world that it is possible. We will never be a party that betrays those who do not have a voice. We will not close off Sweden from the outside world when we know that a strong, open and humane world policy is what is needed most. The world has faced great challenges in the past. We need to open our eyes and see that another world is possible.
Co – Spokesperson, Minister for the
Environment, Deputy PM