Peace, Power and Words
Politicians pretend to take our future seriously. ‘’All we can see is endless talk and very little action,’’ the words of Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Yet, despite her frustration with rapid change, you only have to look at the vast number of protesters to know the power of political exchange.
We across Europe are aware of the power of free speech when it comes to legislation across each member state parliament. We witness endless hours of talks and dialogue in government and parliament, which then suddenly emerges into a real-world change.
I remember sitting with various Irish Taoiseach, British prime ministers, George Mitchell and the occasional American president. They listened and talked with multiple sides in securing a roadmap for peace in Ireland. I will never forget when Taoiseach Albert Reynolds smashed a pencil on his desk in Dublin Castle, arguing a point with British officials and PM John Major during tense talks that formed the basics of the Downing Street declaration (15th Dec 1993). John Major said at the time, “We’ve been able to have the fiercest of rows without leaving scars”.
Already COP 26 has brought many memorable quotes from leaders worldwide. They may keep coming because we have another two weeks of it. We believe words matter. We must never underestimate the importance when building unity.
Here we reflect on what has been said,
“We have lost our sense of security, and are experiencing a sense of powerlessness and loss of control over our lives. We find ourselves increasingly frail and even fearful.”
History has shown when Nations come together in common cause there is always room for hope.
“We showed up… and by showing up we’ve had a profound impact on how the rest of the world is looking at the United States and its leadership role”.
“Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: Either we stop it — or it stops us. It’s time to say: enough. … Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our own graves.”
“We are, after all, the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on Earth. If working apart, we are a force powerful enough to destabilize our planet. Surely working together, we are powerful enough to save it.”