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Youth and political representatives dialogue on the European Green Deal This Thursday the first activity of the Youth/Green ImPACT project was held, which is being driven forward by the Rubí City Council within the European Commission’s Erasmus + programme https://www.rubi.cat/en/current/news/youth-and-political-representatives-dialogue-on-the-european-green-deal/@@images/image/preview

Youth and political representatives dialogue on the European Green Deal

This Thursday the first activity of the Youth/Green ImPACT project was held, which is being driven forward by the Rubí City Council within the European Commission’s Erasmus + programme
Ana María Martínez Martínez and Andrés Medrano Muñoz (photo: Rubí City Council - Localpres).
Ana María Martínez Martínez and Andrés Medrano Muñoz (photo: Rubí City Council - Localpres)

Some hundred young men and women from Rubí met online this Thursday with Mayor Ana María Martínez Martínez; city councilman for the Environment, Ecological Transition and Animal Welfare, Andrés Medrano Muñoz; and MEP and vice-chair of the Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, César Luena López, to have a dialogue on applying the European Green Deal. With this session, Rubí took its first big step in the Youth/Green ImPACT project, a City Council initiative framed in the European Commission’s Erasmus + programme and developed with the support of the Spanish National Youth Institute (INJUVE).

This activity – the first of five planned for the project – featured 13- and 14-year-olds from the Rubí Council of Adolescents and from five of the city’s public schools. Thanks to institutional representatives attending, the boys and girls could learn first-hand about the environmental policies being carried out at municipal and European levels to achieve the targets of the Green Deal and also express their concerns in this area. Some of the questions posed by the young people were: how the Green Deal measures will impact climate change, how the current consumption model could be changed to make it more sustainable, what the relationship is between pandemics and the environment, how climate change can be handled locally, and what must be done to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reach 100% use of renewable energies.

During her talk, the mayor reconfirmed Rubí’s commitment to achieving a more sustainable and climate-neutral Europe: ‘We aspire, along with our strategic partners like the city of Lappeenranta, the European green capital today, to actively contribute to Europe fulfilling the targets set in the Green Deal’. Ana María Martínez Martínez stated that ‘in this task, you young people are a key piece. Boys and girls like you have proven the leadership role you can play in defending the planet.’

 

From Europe and from Rubí

Eurodeputy César Luena López opened his presentation by stating that ‘the situation is critical because we have a twofold crisis, biodiversity and climate’. He declared that urgent action is required for that reason across all fields: ‘No matter how many policies are implemented by macro-institutions, we need city councils and youth to be involved, because they are the people on the front line’.

Luena reviewed the three pillars of the European Green Deal: the European Climate Law, which seeks a climate-neutral continent by 2050; the biodiversity strategy, whose aim is to protect and restore nature; and the circular economy, which advocates a new consumption model with products that last longer and are easier to repair and recycle. The MEP told the participating youth that one of the most relevant issues for these lines of action is that the targets are obligatory, as well as imposing fines for noncompliances.

City councilman for the Environment, Ecological Transition and Animal Welfare, Andrés Medrano Muñoz, set out all the actions the City Council is implementing to drive forward ecological transition locally. ‘As a city, we want to be extremely ambitious, as we committed to the ecological transition many years ago,’ the councilman said. He mentioned all the work being done on energy in the different scopes of action of the Rubí Brilla (Rubí Shines) project, but also the policies related to the environment, air quality, the water cycle, waste reduction and management, and sustainable mobility.

Medrano called out for seeking a balance that would protect the planet and the wellbeing of its inhabitants: ‘We’ve got two options: make a sustainable future to live better, have better health and feel better, or jump into the void, giving up what we have now, living worse and being poorer’.

At the end of the session, the mayor thanked the youth for the passion and interest they showed during the dialogue, acknowledging it as a motivation when developing ambitious environmental policies: ‘If we’ve learned one thing today, it is that beyond small everyday actions, you young people are challenging us in the public administrations to make truly deep changes’.

Thursday’s session, which could be watched live via streaming, represented an initial contact before the debate on applying the European Green Deal in Rubí, which will be held on 18 February and that will complete the first activity in the Youth/Green ImPACT project.