SUSTAINABLE VOTING & DEVELOPMENT--EUROPEANS ARE STILL EXPECTED TO ACT & VOTE PAROCHIALLY IN THESE 2009 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIAN ELECTIONS
By Kevin Anthony Stoda, Germany
Two weeks ago, in Wiesbaden’s Courthouse, I heard a presentation on “A More Future-Enabled Germany”.
The presentation was very entertaining and to the point.
It was given by Michael Kopat of Wuppertal’s influential institute on SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN GERMANY & A GLOBALIZED WORLD. (In German it is called ZUKUENFTSFAEHIGES DEUTSCHLAND).
This institute houses Friends of the Earth Germany, Bread for the Word (Brot fuer der Welt), Church Development Services, and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy.
Its SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, a report first printed in 1996 in Wuppertal , has since been called by Der Spiegel magazine the Bible for the sustainability and environmental movement in Germany.
Michael Kopat works with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy. He opened the presentation by noting that in Europe today, “Air Transport is already creating more air pollution and global warming than all the trucks on the continent.”
With this pointed charge, Kopat was targeting the nearby development of the Hessen government called the Frankfurt Airport expansion.
No-holds-barred is how Kopat approached the rest of the topics that evening. In his main points he intertwined improvements in democracy, environment, and sustainable development as Germans prepared to go to the June 7, 2009 European Parliamentary elections.
Kopat stated, “Recurring inquiries prompted the decision in 2006 by publishers new and old to reissue ‘Sustainable Germany’. From the outset it was clear that this meant another liaison between development and environmental policy.”
Kopat noted that his institute is bringing out its newest report on “Sustainable Development” in Germany and the world at this very time.
“Based on new data it shall once again pose the question as to the meaning of sustainability for an industrialized country with international responsibility. Yet the new study is also a reaction to current undesirable developments, to the increasing demands made on the idea of sustainability and the tendencies to repeat the familiar mistakes made by industrialized countries elsewhere in the world. At the same time the study encourages active participation and will prove how easy it is to act in a sustainable manner.”
EUROPE, ARE YOU LISTENING?
“In some ways,” Kopat has noted, “there has certainly been progress in Europe and in various corners of the world since Rio 1992 in terms of awareness and commitment to fighting poverty and environmental catastrophe by nations in the north and south.”