Green issues became a mainstream recently, so they’re more and more attractive for anyone who wants to attract attention. Politicians know it well and use it in order to get votes. However, there are still real green Politicians among them, people who have done a lot for the green cause and who deserve praise for what they have done. Here are five of them.
1. Al Gore
Al Gore is well known environmental activist and one of the most reputable green Politicians. His early ecological efforts in 70’s and 80’s were laughed off by opposition as an attempt to become more popular, but he managed to convince people about the importance of these issues. In 1990 he presided over a three-day conference which resulted with the Global Marshall Plan, which goal was making industrial countries help less developed grow economically and still protect the environment. In late 1990’s he strongly advocated the idea of signing the Kyoto Agreement by the United States government, but this effort ended without any success. In 2006 he founded Alliance for Climate Protection, an NGO which focuses on campaigns and education about the urgency of environmental issues. Although has been criticized frequently, his outstanding efforts were crowned with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
2. Wangari Maathai
Nothing is easy to do in Africa, so the achievements of this woman have to be considered as an outstanding result. In 1997 she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, for her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” The former member of Kenyan Parliament and unsuccessful one-time presidential candidate today spread her word through the activities at Green Belt Movement, and environmental NGO which main activities are conservation of nature and planting trees. It became widely known during the UN Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1985, when she inspired many African leaders combat the deforestation, desertification, rural hunger and water crisis, planting over 30 million trees since its beginning.
3. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Many people were skeptical when the former actor took over the Governor position back in 2003, but today he receives praises for his impressive environmental record. His major achievements began in September 2006 with signing the Global Warming Solutions Act, which goal was reducing greenhouse gases for 80% below the 1990 levels by 2050. In the same time he signed another bill, which prohibited large corporations from making long-term contracts with subject which do not meet the state’s greenhouse gas standards. One month later, in October 2006, Schwarzenegger signed an order with which California joined the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This Initiative has intention to reduce the carbon dioxide emission with help of a system of credits for the power plants in each state: every power plant will have limited amount of credits for carbon dioxide emission, and if it exceed, it will have to purchase more credits to cover the difference. Schwarzi, however, did not stop there. He adapted his lifestyle to the environment, adapting his vehicles run on hydrogen and biofuels, and installed solar panels in house.
4. Marina Silva
Marina Silva is Brazilian environmentalist and politician, and former Minister for Environment from 2003 to 2008. She was often criticized that her efforts to stop deforestation in Amazon and protect rubber tappers who make sustainable living of their work have never been as good as they could be, but her results are impressive, anyway. Marina Silva, with help of the police and the army, has performed a lot of operations against the illegal deforestation, which led to reducing it for over 50% during her governing with the Ministry of Environment. Unfortunately, she resigned in 2008, due to “resistance found by her team in important sectors of government and society.” Then, Sergio Leitao from Greenpeace Brazil said: “It’s time to start praying.”
5. Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone is known as Red Ken, due to his left-wing views, but he is the greenest one that United Kingdom ever had. He deserved his reputation while he was Mayor of London, when he showed clear intention to make his city one of the world’s greenest. Under his famous Climate Change Action Plan London should get more than 25% of its total power from local sources and reduce carbon emission for 60% within 20 years. He also levied a tax on vehicles entering the city center during the working hours and promoted new environmental-friendly housing plans for East London, deserving his place among the Green Politicians.