Mina Tolu | If you want green... vote green!

We have reached a stage where the most powerful individual action – is our vote. And it is time to use this vote to elect politicians from political parties who are consistently green

As a candidate for the Green Party I have spent my campaign talking with people about European solutions to the challenges we are facing right now. The conversations have been most successful on a one-to-one basis, or in spaces not dominated by candidates of the Labour Party or the Nationalist Party. No surprise there, it is very clear that neither of these political parties are willing to talk about Europe. Despite it being a European election.

We now observe some last-minute grabs for the green vote, and talking about the challenge of our times: climate change! These campaign green washes are nothing new and are happening all over Europe. Suddenly, everyone is waking up to the threats of climate change... including those politicians, like the EPP’s lead candidate Manfred Weber, who consistently voted against climate action as an MEP.

Waking up to climate change looks like: increased heat waves, coral bleaching, desertification, draughts, floods, and rising extreme weather. All these have consequences on ecosystems and on our health and wellbeing.

We need a long-term vision where politicians act in the interests of citizens and not in the interests of powerful lobbies. Policy-wise is where we come in, to create a structure that will support citizen-led clean energy production, sustainable and alternative modes of transport and research and innovation in the areas of energy production.

We fight for binding carbon budgets, binding emission reduction targets and a minimum carbon price. We will commit the EU to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030. In that way, we can achieve a net zero emissions economy by 2040 and eventually a carbon negative economy by 2050. We will also cut all subsidies for fossil fuels because we need to stop supporting polluting industries and start to support clean energy instead.

We have reached a stage where the most powerful individual action – is our vote. And it is time to use this vote to elect politicians from political parties who are consistently green.

Vote for the climate. Vote green.
 
The costs of campaigning

Earlier this week PN MEP candidate Peter Agius announced the costs of his electoral campaign so far. My own campaign costs around €3,500-€4,000. The final amount and a breakdown of these costs will be released at the end of the campaign. I was lucky to be in a position to afford to spend this money on a campaign because I was able to move back in with my parents and live rent-free for six months.

I would have wished to spend less, but as a new kid on the block playing against people who have big money to spend, I soon realised it was not possible.

Of course, the costs of campaigning go beyond the monetary ones. There is the emotional and care labour undertaken mostly by women and queer people who have supported me when things got tough. There aren’t enough words to thank them all for supporting me every step of the way.

Another cost of campaigning is the environmental one. I have tried to, as much as possible, cycle and take the bus for my campaign commutes. Since January I have cycled over 1,100km to and from events and have been on quite a few buses. I have also tried to limit the amount of printing, to minimise the carbon footprint of my campaign.

It’s far from perfect, but when playing the game against those who change billboards every day and send 1000s of leaflets, it has hopefully gone a long way.

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