‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ has long been a catch cry of the Green Party movement, and every five to seven years, we put that into practice by convening a Global Greens Congress. This year, 30 Australians are heading to Liverpool to share with, learn from, and connect with Greens colleagues from around the world.
By making these connections, we strengthen our global movement, and deepen our capacity to campaign for the things we believe in. Climate change, conflict, trade, political discourse, pollution, and humanitarian displacement are not confined by national borders, nor should we confine our activism and campaigns that way. We are most effective when we work in concert with one another, particularly on a global level.
The Australian Greens are already lucky to benefit from these connections. In the past, we’ve worked alongside the Norwegian Greens to campaign against the Norwegian pension fund investing in the Whitehaven Coal and destruction of the Leard State Forest. We’ve campaigned alongside the Zambian Greens as they fight against Australian-owned mining company Zambezi Resources, which has sought to mine for copper in one of Zambia’s most pristine national parks. When we stand alongside each other and make connections with our campaigns, our voices are amplified.
Australian attendees at Congress are working hard to support this goal. Across an array of policy and campaign areas, our members have worked hard to assist with workshops, plenary discussions and the development of new networks. For example, Sean Mulcahy (VIC) has been instrumental to the establishment of the Global Greens LGBT+ network, which will convene for the first time in Liverpool. Kate Noble (VIC) has worked hard to bring together a high-level panel discussion on ‘Toxic trash: the science and politics of marine plastic waste’. Other Australian members are working on panel discussions policy areas as diverse as disability, ocean health, forest conservation, and health.
Ensuring a successful Congress also means opening the experience to as many people as we can. With travel costs and visa requirements often prohibitive, the Global Greens are working hard to fundraise to support attendance at Congress. They’re raising funds to support young people from countries including Togo, Belarus, Brazil and Uganda so we can hear directly from them about their experiences as Greens. In addition, raised funds will support livestreaming key sessions — ‘The politics of hope’, ‘Democracy from grassroots to government’, ‘Tax justice’, and ‘From Paris to 1.5℃’ — direct to your couch, and professional interpretation during the event. Please donate to help make this Global Greens Congress amazing.
This Congress will also mark the end the term of outgoing Global Greens Convenor, Margaret Blakers. As many of you know, Margaret has been the driving force behind the Global Greens since its inception in 2001. She has worked tirelessly building this network from the ground up. Without her perseverance, intelligence, and unwavering belief in our strength as a global movement over the past 16 years, we would not have this global network. We are so grateful to Margaret for her work. We look forward to celebrating her achievements in Liverpool, and beginning the process of filling her enormous, talented shoes.
We’ll be reporting back regularly from Liverpool across our social media — if you haven’t already, make sure you like the Australian Global Greens page on Facebook! We can’t wait to share with you our experiences at Congress.
Felicity Gray is the Australian Greens International Secretary.