GLOBAL 2000 on genetic engineering
The majority of people in Austria know that genetically engineered crops do not belong on our fields and our plates. No advantages compensate for the many risks genetic engineering poses. But a handful of corporations – among the Monsanto, Bayer and BASF – and their lobbyists are trying to establish agricultural genetic engineering with politicians and scientists in Europe. The industry and certain politicians never seem to tire of promoting the advantages: they speak of increased revenues, less chemistry on the fields, fighting world hunger, and the generation of jobs. None of these big promises have been fulfilled. Rather, the contrary seems to be true. The growing of genetically engineered crops in Austria’s small-structured agriculture might mean the end of being able to choose whether to produce – and to eat – food that has no background of genetic engineering.
GLOBAL 2000 on energy
Nuclear power, coal, fossil oil and gas are energy sources of the past, they are harmful for humans and the environment. Sustainable energy policy relies on energy conservation, on an increase in efficiency, and on renewable sources of energy. Renewable sources of energy also guarantee security of supply by lowering Austria’s dependency on imported resources from other countries such as Russia. Expanding domestic sources of renewable energy generates jobs and boosts value creation. Saving energy also saves money. Because of this, and because power generation uses up resources, every form of energy should be used as efficiently and sparingly as possible. Reducing waste of energy also increases the percentage of renewable sources of energy in the grand total. Technically, we could cover our power needs using only renewable sources of energy. In order to make this possible, an adequate political climate is needed. This is what we fights for.
GLOBAL 2000 on climate change and climate protection
Burning coal, oil or gas and deforesting heat up the climate. Natural disasters such as storms, flood like rain or dry spells resulting from this development already cause tens of thousands of deaths every year. Climate protection is a big opportunity: the change from fossil fuels and nuclear power to efficient and renewable sources of energy generates jobs and secures lasting power supply using domestic sources. A decentralized power industry and lower energy demand provide better inner safety, increased domestic value creation and less dependency on foreign contractors. It is a question of climate justice for Austria to significantly reduce its emission of greenhouse gases to a sustainable level. We demand that industrial countries must reduce their emission of greenhouse gases by at least 90 percent (compared to 1990 respectively) until 2050. Additionally, industrial countries must support developing countries in their adaptation to climate change and with their development of a sustainable power industry. On a global scale, emissions would have to be reduced by 50 percent until 2050.
GLOBAL 2000 active against chemicals
Study: hormonally active substances in pacifiers, baby bottles and children’s toys we tested pacifiers, baby bottles and children’s toys on hormonally active substances. “Considerable amounts of additives could be proven in ten of 13 samples”, GLOBAL 2000 chemist Dr. Helmut Burtscher concludes. “Especially shocking is the fact that we detected the hormonally active chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in the nipples of freely available baby pacifiers.” Five of six pacifiers gave off Bisphenol A after a mere hour in a saline solution comparable to saliva. How sucking strain, damage from teeth or wear and tear influence the BPA value has not been tested so far. Significant amounts of Bisphenol A have also been detected in a baby bottle and a beach ball. Nonylphenol, another hormonally active chemical banned in Germany, has been detected in five water toys and pool floats.
GLOBAL 2000 works on agriculture
Fruits and vegetables available on the open market have usually been treated with pesticides. Pesticides are designed to kill pests – they are poisons. Not only do they kill insects and weeds, they also pose a threat to human health. Both acute poisonings and long term effects can be observed. Infertility, immune deficiency, premature delivery, stillbirth, developmental and behavioral disorders, permanent damage to the nervous system and cancer are cited as possible consequences in scientific publications.
GLOBAL 2000 against nuclear power
In 2008, 15 of the 27 EU states ran nuclear power plants. Their 146 reactors make up a third of the world’s inventory. Questions of safety are often disregarded despite increased risks from aging technology and worn-down materials. Ever since the Chernobyl disaster we know that nuclear power is dangerous. Accidents can happen anytime. Experts say that radioactive materials have to be stored for a period of at least ten half lives to eliminate any environmental hazard. In the case of plutonium, this means from 240.000 to 1.000.000 years. No one can predict the political and geological circumstances in thousands of years. Nuclear waste remains a ticking time bomb for all future generations. That are the reasons why we fight for renewable energy and against nuclear power.
GLOBAL 2000 and the children of Chernobyl
Everyone remembers 1986 as the year in which the Chernobyl reactor got out of control. For 10 days, large amounts of radioactive substances got out into the open unchecked. The number of cases of thyroid disease, leukemia in children, jaundice and other malaises increased dramatically. Apart from political activities against the nuclear power lobby, we are strongly concerned for the victims. Since 1995, we have been supporting several hospitals and an orphanage (Shchetovo) with donations raised for the "Tschernobyl-Kinder" – children of Chernobyl – project. Additionally, we have been assisting with the founding of Ukraine’s first center for the handicapped operating after modern pedagogical standards. We also organizes recreational stays for sick children in Austria.
GLOBAL 2000 on rainforests
About 30% of the earth’s land area is covered by forests. The ongoing and sweeping deforestation is a global ecological disaster and affects us all. The destruction of the rainforest threatens the living space of millions of people and may lead to the extinction of millions of plants and animals. In addition, global deforestation has disastrous consequences for the climate. About 20% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions are a direct result of global deforestation (IPPC, 2007). We are committed to expose these connections and to present alternatives. We uncover scandals such as Austrian participation in rain forest destruction and insist on ending suchlike projects. We have been active for the protection of the rain forest for years – even on location. Our projects support indigenous peoples that have been living in harmony with the forest for thousands of years.
Global 2000 on traffic and mobility
Mobility means flexibility and is a basic human right. The rapid increase in car and air traffic has become one of the largest problems for the environment and for human health. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death among youths. Air pollutants such as monoxides, summer ozone and CO2 are traffic-induced and account for more than a quarter of Austria’s greenhouse gas emissions – as does the industry. Production happens where it is cheapest and products are sent all across the globe or the continent. As a result, truck traffic is dramatically increasing in Austria. We actively advocate change, because climate protection is impossible without sustainable traffic policy. Countless other environmental problems could be significantly improved by a different traffic policy.