By Christine Campeau, Caritas Climate Change and Food Security Advisor
With less than a week to go before hoping on a plane to Cancun, Mexico, I’ve been busy confirming all the last minute practical details for the trip.
Caritas official messaging approved, check. Speakers from member organization confirmed for all three side-events, check. Accommodations and visas for the members of our delegation, check. Travel phrases in Spanish, verificación. Hope that progress will be achieved at the negotiations… well, I’ll make sure to pack that in my bag and work on it on the plane ride over.
Truth is, I’ve been soothing my disappointment from last year’s UN climate change summit in Copenhagen with thoughts that things will be different this year. That the sounds of the ocean waves and the bright Mexican sun will warm the hearts of government delegations and that real progress will be made this time around. I want to believe that somewhere under the palm trees, environment ministers will come together and rekindle trust with one another. That they will keep in mind aspects such as human rights and environmental protection and commit to making substantial progress because the 2012 expiration date for the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol is soon approaching. And I want them to understand why this should all be done within the UNFCCC framework, complete with its ability to monitor, report on and verify the actions of Parties.
I want to believe that I’m not heading to Cancun to have my hopes shattered like they were last year in Copenhagen. I want to believe that governments of the world are able to dig down deep into their souls, put narrow political interests aside, and take concrete actions towards a common good for all humanity. I want to believe that those who have access to the financial and technological wealth of our planet will be courageous enough to share it with those who don’t and are in desperate need. I want to believe that people who have it all would be willing to reduce their standards of living (ie: consider buying a fewer Christmas presents this year) so that people in other countries can eat. I want negotiators to be visionaries and dare to make the changes required now so that we are not paying for them tenfold in the future.
So St. Nicholas, or the Three Kings, or whoever is still bringing gifts this Christmas, if you are listening, this is all I want for Christmas this year. I want you to show me that people really do care about the wellbeing of others and are willing to share the gifts of the Earth so that everyone will have a chance to benefit from the global good this Christmas.