NGOs call for a fundamental reform of energy and agricultural policies, following the "Dialogue on Transformation" which took place in Bonn, Germany in November 2012.
140 civil society stakeholders from 22 industrial and emerging states, who usually plan their activities independently either in the energy-and-climate scene or the agriculture-and-food scene; came together in Bonn, Germany, on 5 November 2012 for a joint "Dialogue on Transformation". The dialogue marked the beginning of coordination on strategic approaches between groups who work with affected people on site and campaign and advocacy NGOs. The participants discussed strategies that can simultaneously combat poverty and climate change. Discussions centred on how the right to food can be implemented and how energy demands be can satisfied in a sustainable and affordable way, while at the same time mitigating climate change.
The participants in the dialogue unanimously agreed that people's access to sustainable energy and their right to food must be enforced in such a way that they do not collide with the limits and boundaries of the planet. Continuing to act in the same way, causing rapid loss of soils and soil quality, increasing competition between the petrol pump and the plate, and land grabbing by countries who expend too many resources has to be prevented. Similarly, the energy transformation goal must be successfully achieved, not just in Germany, but everywhere possible.
A major step in this direction is to reduce and restructure the subsidy system for energy and agriculture, a system which, in the final instance, is self-destructive. Efforts must be made to convert to ecologically sound agriculture and to abandon fossil sources of energy. In view of the ever increasing problems, many of the participants were of the opinion that not small steps, but rather a great transformation was crucial. A transformation that will not only re-embed the economy in society, but also that will bring society to accept that it is itself entrenched in its living ecological planet.
The conference is part of a longer dialogue project organised by Germanwatch and the "Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy", Minneapolis and is supported by Stiftung Mercator.