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Found 2 results

  1. A purportedly pro-environment campaign to keep out immigrants has been defeated in Switzerland. The campaign was initiated by Ecologie et population — usually abbreviated as Ecopop — which describes itself as “the only environmental organization in Switzerland, which focuses on population growth.” In 2012 it gathered enough signatures to force a binding national referendum on a two-part proposal: to limit annual immigration to 0.2% of the country’s total population, and to devote 10% of Swiss foreign aid to population reduction programs in Third World countries. In an interview with the BBC, a spokesman for Ecopop explained that both proposals aimed at the same goal: “For Switzerland the key source of the fast growth of population is immigration, hence we have to limit that. If however you look at poor countries the source of the population growth is clearly fertility.” The Green Party, which called for a no vote, accused Ecopop of scapegoating immigrants for problems they didn’t cause and promoting neo-colonial policies towards poor countries: “It is not our role to say you are having too many children, when in fact we are causing 80% of the environmental pollution.” In the referendum vote, held November 30, voters rejected the Ecopop proposal by a decisive 3-to-1 margin. That’s an important victory, but the fight is far from over. The right-wing Swiss Peoples Party (SVP), which has more seats in the federal assembly than any other party, also favors strict limits on immigration, and is not averse to using environmental arguments to promote them. For an idea of where this might lead, look across the border in France, where this week the virulently anti-immigrant National Front launched a movement called New Ecology to campaign for “patriotic” environmental policies including opposition to a global climate agreement and support for France’s nuclear industry. Campaigns such as Ecopop’s strengthen such groups by lending green cover to their racist policies.
  2. Norway, a rich country in Scandinavia (in northern Europe) with a population of almost five million people enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and third highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world, and has maintained first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001-2006). Most of the wealth comes from large fields of natural resources such as oil and gas. Norway is the third largest exporter of oil and gas worldwide. Only Russia and Saudi Arabia export more oil than Norway. In 2006, oil and gas accounted for 58% of all the services and products exported. Ah yes, Norway is one of the few countries that are generating huge amounts of money on the continuation of global warming. While it's probably true that most people in Norway feel a bit ashamed about this fact the second largest political party (as of the 2005 parliamentary elections) in Norway, the Fremskrittspartiet (shortly translated to the "progress party"), wants to gain more votes by downplaying the severity of climate change. All the other major political parties in Norway acknowledge the severity of man-made climate change and have unanimously decided on tougher actions against climate change. So why would a sane political party go against all trustworthy scientific reports you might ask? Well, what would you expect from a conservative political party like Fremskrittspartiet. A political party that advocates free market economics and deregulation of the economy, stricter limits on immigration, closer cooperation with NATO, United States and Israel in foreign policy and less state aid to developing countries. One of Fremskrittspartiet's goals is to limit immigration to 100 people per year (Source: Dagens Nyheter 11/4/2008). They especially want to stop Muslims, illiterate and poor people from coming to Norway. The party leader Siv Jensen believes that by denying global warming the Fremskrittspartiet will attract more voters from the other political parties in Norway and might have a chance to win the coming election from the current red-green government. By educating 1000 party members to confront the "exaggerated" public and scientific opinion about climate change and to use chosen "scientists" in the election campaign Siv Jensen hopes to profile Fremskrittspartiet as the "deviant and sane voice" in Norwegian politics.