In its newest report titled “A New Route for the Next Day” (English translation for “Un Nuevo Rumbo para el Día Después”), Spanish Green Party EQUO put forth a set of highly comprehensive and forward thinking proposals designed to guide the enormous task of economic and social reconstruction facing the country in its long road towards recovery following the crisis brought on by the Covid19 pandemic.

The various proposals contained in the report stem chiefly from the premises that today’s hyperglobalization is fragile and unstable; that our economic model, based on infinite growth, is totally unsustainable; that we are eco-dependent; and that behind the health emergency we are yet to overcome lies another even more profound and destabilizing than the current pandemic: the climate emergency.

The green’s report was unveiled last May during a Webinar session held by EQUO’s parliamentary representative and co-spokesperson, Inés Sabanés, together with Secretary General of the European Green Party, Mar García. In this webinar, Sabanés and García discussed society’s imperative to change course towards a more ecological, inclusive and resilient future, concluding that returning “to the unsustainable and unjust normality that existed before the crisis” is simply not feasible.

At the beginning of the one hour Webinar, Sabanés expressed her concerns for devising a strategy to transition out of the Covid19 crisis in a way that secures real and meaningful change, referring to the coronavirus pandemic as a “wake up call” from our planet.

The creation of a parliamentary commission for the social and economic reconstruction of the country by the Spanish Congress prompted the EQUO greens to devise the ambitious and highly comprehensive set of proposals for “a green and just reconstruction” in order to contribute to the political efforts being made at transitioning away from this unprecedented crisis. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Spain continues to position itself as one of Europe’s worst Covid19 hot spots, heading the second wave of infections in the continent with the highest numbers of confirmed new daily cases, and headed, as published by Spanish newspaper El País, for the biggest decline in economic activity of all developed economies in 2020.

As a matter of fact, in its latest World Economic Outlook, noting the unusually large uncertainty surrounding baseline projections this year, the IMF anticipated that the Spanish economy will shrink by an astonishing 12.8% this year – marking the worst economic contraction in modern Spanish history and constituting the biggest projected contraction of all advanced economies. Evidently, the country is in dire need of a plan and EQUO’s proposals come at a true turning point for both humanity and the planet.

“We have created our own green reconstruction guide, which has a lot to do with tackling the way out of this crisis in parallel with AN ecological transition and the objectives of the fight against climate change.”

– Inés Sabanés, EQUO Federal Co-Spokesperson

For EQUO, it is clear that a move towards a clean, resilient, cohesive and supportive socio-economic model is imperative. In “A New Route for the Next Day”, the Spanish Greens call for a model that will allow us to overcome the global health emergency and climate crisis simultaneously, so that we can face future crises prosperously and can create a world that is resilient to disruption and change. In order not to repeat the same mistakes in the future, they warn, “it is time to change course now”.

EQUO’s proposals, which are part of what the Green Party has referred to as “the Grand Post-COVID19 Social, Economic and Ecological Agreement” encompass a profound change in diverse sectors from transportation, to energy, healthcare, finance, and even democracy. Among the detailed propositions stand a “crash plan” to encourage the mass use of the bicycle as a safe and healthy means of transport; a plan of mass development of renewable energies and a strategy to fight energy poverty with the establishment of a social bond for electricity; legally binding targets for the protection and restoration of at least 30% of biodiversity by 2030; and a carbon tax on Internet purchases, depending on the origin of the product and the means of transport used.

The Spanish Greens have taken to social media to promote their proposals extensively, urging people to realize that we depend on biodiversity to protect our health and keep us safe from viral pandemics, and offering a course of hope for the future.

Born in 2010 as a grassroots political project meant to promote the convergence of the burgeoning Spanish green movement towards a political party similar to other green parties across Europe at the time, EQUO stands today as the most prominent green party in Spain, with membership in the European Green Party since 2016 and with observer status within the Global Greens partnership.

The European Greens, as the European Green Party is otherwise known, constitute a transnational political party formed by green political parties from across Europe (and not only from the European Union). Founded in 2004 at the 4th Congress of the European Federation of Green Parties in Rome (EFGP), at its birth the European Green Party was the first transnational political party of European scope, and today its membership is comprised of at least 30 different member parties working together with shared vision, slogans and programs.

From the European Parliament, the Greens have made a critical common effort to promote European integration and have upheld their commitment to defend environmental responsibility, individual freedoms, an inclusive democracy, diversity, gender equality, sustainable development and non-violence. Moving forward, we are yet to find out whether EQUO’s efforts bear fruit in Spain. In the meantime, the Spanish Greens retain hope to become the drivers of the urgent change needed to build a green, egalitarian, solidary and sustainable future for this and for the generations to come.

Natalia Ortiz Peñate

Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Natalia moved to Canada as a teenager to pursue a more diverse education and a brighter future. Based in Montréal since the fall of 2016, today she is a proud McGill University graduate with a BA in Political Science and International Development Studies. Over the course of her undergraduate studies at McGill, she developed a passion for human rights advocacy and sustainable development. Owing to her political science background, she is equally interested in notions of global governance and diplomacy, and has developed a particular interest in the fields of human rights protection, poverty alleviation, and international development, all within the framework of sustainability. In the near future, she aspires to continue her education and become professionally involved in global politics and international affairs in order to help bring the change she wants to see in the world.

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