By Christine Campeau, Caritas Delegate
Our Climate Change group in Malawi had a very full agenda yesterday in order to prepare for our Voices of the South video connection to Bonn, Germany. This groundwork was done in order for our Southern members to make their ‘call for Climate Justice‘ directly to those present at the UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn, Germany.
In order to organize ourselves, Astrid Schwietering from the CIDSE secretariat started us off by presenting the CI-CIDSE campaign activities. This was followed by a brief presentation by myself on the international policy framework – outlining the corner stones of the UNFCCC negotiations and the current state of play. After a quick break for lunch, we returned to the drawing board to gather our ideas regarding ‘our asks’.
All the planning was well worth the effort and at 6pm, we went live to a full audience of civil society and government officials in Bonn.
Rene Grotenhuis of Cordaid gave the opening speech followed by Father Frederic D’Souza, Caritas India, who presented the key asks on mitigation. The main calls for action in his presentation were that “we have already endangered the planet and therefore it requires mitigation first as it affects all”. He furthered by stating that “Annex 1 countries need to collectively cut their emissions of at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and that each polluting country must take own responsibilities and take serious steps to reduce carbon and not off-set its responsibilities in developing countries.”
Janet Mangera, Caritas Kenya and Firmin Adjahossou of SECAM were next to take the microphone and present the key asks on adaptation. Throughout their speeches they stressed that “we acknowledge that climate change is already being felt and is impacting large numbers of vulnerable communities in the South” and that “we must recognize and ensure the engagement of marginalized communities and groups to participate in and benefit from climate change mitigation and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction with decision making at community, national and international levels.”
Although technical hiccups occurred on both ends, the sound quality remained strong throughout the entire video connection. This was the most important aspect to our efforts because it meant that our audience in Bonn was able to hear the voices of our members until the very end of our side event.