We’re halfway through crunch election year

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Dear Planetary Steward, Dear friend of the Global Commons Alliance,

The biggest election year in history is now at its midpoint. Far right parties won almost a quarter of the seats in last week’s EU elections raising concerns for the European Green Deal. And despite extreme heat causing low voter turnout*, Prime Minister Modi, who has been weak on climate action, was elected for a third term in India. If the third biggest emitter in the world with some of the highest number of climate-related deaths globally can’t vote for bold action, it can be difficult to believe the tide is turning for the better.

In Mexico last week, climate scientist Claudia Sheinbaum was elected as the first female President. She has promised to support the country’s energy transition, electrify transport and cut GHG emissions. However she also supports the nation’s expanding fossil fuel industry and environmentally costly  infrastructure projects like the Mayan Train, despite sustained opposition from ecologists, academia and citizens. Her administration as Mexico City’s Mayor – previous to the presidential  election – did not address the historical water problems in one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The aquifer that sustains 22 million people is not recharging, and the old water infrastructure accounts for great water leaks. The water crisis in the city and the rest of the country has been ignored by most politicians regardless of their political affiliation. The city, according to experts, might reach Day Zero soon

In addition, Mexico is one of the top countries in the world where the most environmental Indigenous activists and environmental Indigenous journalists and in general journalists are brutally killed. We will watch whether this administration is able to strengthen its institutional governance so that the country’s natural resources and human rights are protected.

With elections also happening in the UK in a few weeks, the timing could not be more crucial for London Climate Action Week (LCAW). As well as focusing on the politics and diplomacy needed to deliver a 1.5ºC aligned outcome in 2025 and exploring how reform can support a new global finance goal at COP29, there will also be a spotlight on delivering the net zero transformations needed across the UK following the elections. We will be at LCAW, co-hosting a Nature Positive for Climate Action Workshop on 25 June, with the UN Climate Champions Team. The invite-only workshop aims to collectively design the Nature Positive for Climate Action roadmap toward CBD COP16, COP29 and COP30, as well as explore opportunities for collaboration. We will also be sharing the first public results from a global survey we undertook with IPSOS Mori, in partnership with Earth4All, on attitudes to economic and political transformations.

As more than half the world’s population continue to vote this year in elections that are not only pivotal for democracy but for the interconnected natural systems that are keeping every single one of us alive, we cannot afford to slow down – whatever the election results. Now is the time for close collaboration to build the safe and just future that is still within our grasp. To shape a nation, you need a government. But to shape a planet, you need a global Alliance that strives for collective action beyond national interests. And that is why we exist.

With all my best wishes,

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*Correction: While India’s voter turnout marginally lower than the 2019 election, the absolute number of voters surged from approximately to over 642 million in 2024, which is approximately “1.5 times the voters of all G7 countries and 2.5 times the voters in the EU27.” Read more.

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