More green left for a better Barcelona

Ricard Gomà's picture
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend Share this

A more human and more sustainable Barcelona. This is our coalition the ICV-EUiA’s objective, a left-wing and environmental force with great experience in the Catalan capital’s municipal government.

Over this last number of years, we have left our footprint on Barcelona City Council, with an advance in social and environmental policies, the areas we have led; a footprint that has added to our influence on the local government’s global action, always prioritising policies for the people, participation and proximity.

Two examples of our environmental policies during our participation in the municipal government are, firstly, the installation of 90,000 square metres of thermal solar panels in terraces and roofs, which produce 72 MW/year. This initiative has already been copied in other countries. The second example is our management of waste collection, with the extension of the organic section’s collection across the entire city during this term. Regarding social policies, we have increased the number of social service centres; we are extending home care and telecare services, currently assisting 50,000 beneficiaries in the city; and, we are universalising the ‘dining room grants’ in public schools.

In the years to come, we are aware that Barcelona has been going through deep changes, which form a very different scenario than four years ago; in addition everything has been conditioned by an outrageously unfair crisis caused by the global financial capitalist mess. CiU’s new right-wing Catalan Government wants the weaker ones to pay for this by making drastic cuts in healthcare, education and other social services, dismantling the Welfare State while at the same time eliminating the inheritance tax.

In the face of the same crisis, Barcelona’s City Council has answered with the prioritisation of investments in social services: we have strengthened and increased social and education expenditure by 40% more than from the beginning of the crisis, and we have maintained the money given for the running and construction of new kindergartens, inclusion equipments, community centres and libraries. Expenditure has of course been reduced, but in investments considered less necessary for citizens, such as the Marine Zoo. 

To leave this crisis behind, we in ICV-EUiA believe a new economy is needed, working for the people and not for the powerful, an economy based on sustainability and renewable energies and social services, areas that generate specialised jobs that cannot be relocated.

We also need new policies, with new ideas and new ways of doing things, which have to supersede the old formula and avoid the bad ways the right-wing has accustomed us to. A proximity policy that connects with the needs and dreams of the people, and to which ICV-EUiA is a reference in the city. A policy that stays away from big events and that believes in services for the people as the city-generating elements.

We are working to build a friendlier, fairer, greener, more committed, creative city. And we want to keep doing so with everyday, fighting, optimistic people. Next to that progressive majority that wants to move forward on new paths and does not allow itself to be seduced by the right-wing’s siren chants, which only take us back to the past and injustice. More green left is needed for a different and better Barcelona.

 

Ricard Gomà

Head of the ICV-EUiA candidature to Barcelona’s City Council

All posts by this author Add new comment