December 8 2015 | 7:00 pm| Espace Niemeyer, 2 place du Colonel-Fabien, 75019 Paris
In many European left-wing parties, environmental concerns are at best a controversially discussed or even neglected issue. Frequently, green conscious politicians in these parties are isolated among their own ranks. This mainly has a number of historical reasons, as the original political basis of most left-wing parties is largely formed of workers in extractive economic sectors, such as coal mining or in the automobile industry.
European left-wing parties, too, hold very different positions on nuclear and coal energy. Whereas there is a consensus among members of the German Left Party in favour of phasing-out nuclear energy, in France such a step would so far find no majority in the country's Communist Party.
Nonetheless, there are elected officials, groups and members within numerous European left-wing parties that attempt to combine questions of a just energy transition and environmental and climate justice with the traditional battlegrounds of left-wing parties and make 'green issues' a centrepiece of their party political work. For them, the Paris summit offered an opportunity for the first Europe-wide networking meeting of left-wing environmental politicians.
It was the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung that proposed this meeting for politicians to exchange ideas with its representatives and members of its international partner organisations. Dagmar Enkelmann, chair of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Pierre Laurent, chair of the Communist Party of France, as well as Wilfried Telfkämper, director of the Center for International Dialogue and Cooperation of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, gave the opening speeches.