The Green Party is a shorthand name for a group of political parties and political movements concerned with preservation of the environment (see environmentalism), grassroots democracy, pacifism, and issues of social justice. Around the world, there are political parties that share this same name and philosophy in dozens of countries.
There is no centralized international Green Party bureacracy. However, there is both formal and informal interchange between the parties. There are federations of national green parties in Europe, and the Americas. In 2001, there was a worldwide conference of Greens in Australia, at which a charter was agreed to that stated "the values and principles that [attendees] hold in common as Green parties and political movements" global.greens.org.au.
Green party platforms draw elements from Feminism, political liberalism (U.S. style), and libertarian socialism, with a strong emphasis on ecology. These ideas have been summed in the Ten Key Values drafted by the U.S. Green Party and the Four Pillars that European greens use. Green Parties are often formed by a coalition of environmentalists and local (or national) leftist groups. This is sometimes called the Red-Green Alliance.
The first Green Party in the form it's recognized today, was started in New Zealand in the early 1970s under the name the "Values Party". It produced an influential manifesto: "Beyond Tomorrow" in 1975, a year in which they received 5.3% of the national vote, but were unable to place any members in parliament.
This manifesto, along with the United States environmental movement, played a large role in influencing Petra Kelly, one of the leaders of the German Green Party, the first Green party to have real success at the electoral level. The German Greens were famous for their opposition to nuclear power, in addition to all the traditional green values. They were founded on January 13, 1980, and joined the federal parliament for the first time in 1983.
Their success inspired the formation of Green Parties in countries around Europe and around the world. As of 2001, the Green Party was the junior partner in coalition governments in Germany, France, Belgium, and Finland. Other countries with moderately large Green Parties include the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.
A few issues affect most of the green parties around the world. Among them are:
Green Parties of the World
- European Federation of Green Parties
- Irish Green Party
- German Green Party
- Miljöpartiet (Sweden)
- New Zealand Green Party
- U.S. Green Party