This is a joint statement of 400 activists from 38 countries who met in Lausanne, Switzerland, from the 5th to the 9th of August 2019. The Summer Meeting in Lausanne Europe (SMILE) was organised by Fridays For Future. Note that on 22nd August Lausanne declared it would be carbon neutral by 2030.
Declaration of Intent
We have come together in Lausanne because we care.
We are at a crossroads in history. If we don’t take radical action and make unprecedented changes in all aspects of society right now, the world as we know and love it could be lost forever. The collapse of our society and our ecosystems are on the horizon and time is running out. What happens in the next months and years will determine what the future of humankind will look like. Our collective extinction is a possible outcome. Politicians all over the world are ignoring the emergency, but we have decided that we cannot wait any longer. We have come together in Lausanne because we are united by our common fears and goals and the time to act is now. We care about the future.
In five days of international exchange in Lausanne we have discovered that we have differences. We are all individuals, coming from 38 different countries, talking in 29 different languages, living 400 different lives and calling upon 38 different governments to take action. There are people in this world who will try to use this in order to drive us apart. This is why we have decided to show them that our united vision is stronger. In our hearts we all carry the same concerns, goals and values and they connect us in every moment, no matter where we are and what challenges we face. The climate crisis knows no bor- ders and neither do we.
Together we will change this world for the better. For us and for all generations to come.
Declaration of Demands
- Keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels.
- Ensure climate justice and equity.
- Listen to the best united science currently available.
Declaration of Values
The local and national branches are autonomous and self-managed. We encourage them to adapt and discuss the values and principles in this declaration. Our movement encourages plurality. We want to improve the international exchange and sharing of ideas.
We are fighting for our future and our lives because they are directly threatened by the climate crisis and the ecological breakdown. We are taking action against it because we want to protect the beauty of the earth, the diversity of species and the lives of all beings. Our goal is to overcome the climate crisis and to create a society that lives in harmony with its fellow beings and its environment.
We shall be independent from any political or business based influence. To differentiate between outside help and outside influence is left to national and local branches on a case by case basis.
We recognise the importance of donations and crowdfundings – being transparent is essential. However, we do not want to be instrumentalized and will not support anyone or any organisation in return.
We are a non-violent movement.
We strive to be as transparent as possible.
We want to reach out to everyone through education and other kinds of ways, in order to show how being aware of the climate crisis and our environment is a necessity for our survival.
The consequences of the climate and ecological crisis are already visible and the damage cannot be denied, but we still have the opportunity and the resources to overcome the crisis.
We can do it and we need to act now!
We encourage and assist all local and national groups to find their own way to achieve the common goal and we support various forms of action, as long as they are in alignment with our values and principles.
We, as a movement, stand together as one. We are all people of the same planet, regardless of borders, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion, abilities and social origin and deserve to be treated as equal. Every opinion and voice should be heard and valued the same. We try to be as inclusive as possible and welcome everyone as long as they respect our values and principles.
We strive to have non-hierarchical structures and no single decision-makers.
We should all work to assure that every voice is heard and listened to equally.
We identify ourselves as a movement with youth at its base. Everyone is welcome to join, no matter their age, but we also encourage people to organize themselves and join the global climate movement to reach our common goals.
We are against any form of discrimination, such as: racism, sexism, xenophobia, ableism, discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people, etc. We are against fascism and actively work to challenge hate speech.
We do not judge anyone based on their current abilities or skills, especially regarding environmental behaviour, but rather encourage everyone to further learn inside their current social context.
Our demands are based on reliable data and scientific facts. It is not our responsibility to come up with solutions.
We recognize that the problems of the climate crisis we are facing today come from flaws in our socio-economic system, change is needed.
Social justice is an important value of our movement and social justice knows no borders. In combating the climate crisis we must support the ones who are the most affected and thus vulnerable.
We show solidarity to all affected by the climate crisis.
Possible Starting Points
During the week, the working group “demands”, together with top scientists, including long-time members of the IPCC, elaborated a set of starting points for tackling the climate crisis and its consequences in a variety of different sec- tors. This list could be applied when creating a Climate-Action-Plan on any national/regional level. It was approved by a vast majority of the participants but has not yet found consensus.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions gradually starting the decrease in 2020 at the latest and reaching net zero CO2 emissions by the early 2030s as per countries’ current context in the Paris Agreement.
- Implement pricing on greenhouse gases in line with the demands of social justice and the costs imposed upon future generations.
- Sustainable transport should be stimulated over unsustainable transport through accessibility and regulations in private, public and cargo sectors.
- Reduce energy consumption.
- Immediate investments into renewable energy have to be made to ensure 100% carbon free energy by the 2030s as per countries’ current context.
- The governments should recognise the climate crisis and its solutions for what they are, make truthful and accurate information accessible to everyone and actively communicate this information.
- A Europe-wide climate emergency, which includes goals, targets, and mechanisms such as check-ups to ensure transparency and accountability.
- Measures should be taken to enhance resilience and decrease the severity of the existing impacts of climate change.
- Governments should find ways to meaningfully involve civil society (including young people – minors), scientists, workers and companies.
- The mentioned parties should be included in decision-making at all times.
- Governments should encourage circular economies, like repairing, reusing and recycling, instead of linear economies, for example making, using and disposing. Regulations should be put in place against unsustainable and unethical practises.
- Governments should encourage sustainable farming and agroecology, as well as independent small-scale farmers and take systematic measures to raise accessibility of plant-based nutrition and locally-produced food.
- The ecosystems and biodiversity should be protected.
- The recommendation of the last IPCC report on climate change and land should be taken into account in agriculture.
- A just transition should be implemented and the accessibility of green sector employment ensured.
- Diplomacy should be used to prevent and resolve conflicts with negative impact on the environment.
- Climate refugees should be recognised and treated as legitimate asylum seekers with respect to human dignity and nature.
During the week, the working group “strategic and operational goals” elaborated a structure to improve work and coordination on an international level. This structure was approved by a vast majority of the participants but has not yet found consensus. It is a first draft which we will try to work with until the next summit and thereby get experience and feedback on how to improve it for a finalized version.
The group also worked on the next steps for the movement. These have also been approved by a vast majority of the participants but not yet found consensus and the group encourages national and local groups to discuss them.
The document for the structure and the proposals for the next steps can be found on the SMILE website in the category “Results”.