Green parties pledge support for co-operatives

20 Apr 2012

Green parties from around the world have shown their support for the co-operative model.
At the Global Greens Congress in Dakar, hundreds of delegates from 76 countries backed a call for national Green parties to lobby governments to nurture the creation, growth and sustainability of co-operatives.
Proposed by the Australian Greens, the resolution, which was unanimously supported by attendees, acknowledged the close alignment between the ICA’s Co-operative Principles and those of the Global Greens, which is a partnership of Green parties and political movements.
The Congress also agreed that co-operatives have a significant impact on reducing poverty and in “securing a sustainable and renewable future for the planet”.
Sam Byrne, a member of the Australian Greens and Chair of Alfalfa House food co-operative, Sydney, presented the motion to the group of Green parties. Mr Byrne says: “To me, and now the Greens worldwide, there is a lot of alignment between Greens principles and co-op principles. 
“The motion gives co-operatives and their national and international organisations an opening to engage Greens parties and MPs on issues relating to co-operatives. It also should encourage them to promote co-ops. In quite a few countries and regions now Greens are in key parliamentary positions.”
Green parties have also pledged to promote co-operatives throughout the International Year of Co-operatives; and on the International Day of Co-operatives (July 7).
In a letter addressed to the Congress, ICA President Dame Pauline Green said: “In this International Year of Co-operatives, each day that we spread the word of the importance of this values-based enterprise model and it takes stronger root, is a day in which more citizens will find jobs, there will be greater gender equality, youth employment, greater focus on climate change and peace initiatives and more effective sustainable development. Co-operatives are a critical part of all of that and more.”
• Reach out to your local Green party to help spread the co-operative message. There are over 100 parties worldwide, find your local campaign group here:

Picture: Jackson Wood, Creative Commons.

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