By Cliona Sharkey, Trócaire
On my way to Mexico two weeks ago I was reflecting on the differences between the prospects for the Cancun meeting and the level of expectation in the run up to the Copenhagen summit last year. Sitting in the airport on my way home I find myself comparing the day the gavel went down last year with the atmosphere today, the day the Cancun conference closed. Thankfully, the mood couldn’t be more different. On substance, however, you have to look at the detail to assess what progress has been made.. Continue reading
By Martina Liebsch, Caritas Internationalis Director of Policy, at the climate conference in Cancun,
We need to thoroughly assess the outcome of the summit in detail, but there seems to be a sign of hope. In all the statements to be heard by high level officials it was acknowledged that now is time for action.
Checking against our own targets, adequate funding for the most vulnerable communities and a fair and legally binding deal under the UNFCCC that builds on the Kyoto protocol, some elements seem to have been achieved. A Climate Fund and agreement to keep global temperature below 2° C compared to pre-industrial levels.
Most importantly apparently Mexico set a spirit of seriousness and transparency which provided for a lifeline for future negotiations.
You have negotiated all my lifetime said a 21-year old girl from a youth organization in the concluding plenary and you do not have the authority to ask for more time. There seems to be hope that she sees concrete steps to tackle climate change during her life.
It seems that the many voices from civil society and faith-based organisations present at the summit have reached the hearts and minds of the leaders and negotiators. Bishop Gustavo Rodriguez Vega, President of Caritas Mexico speaking on behalf of the faith based organizations called for climate justice and for courageous, equitable and binding agreements. It seems that his call was not totally in vain.
Faith communities came together to address climate change, poverty and sustainable development in a joint Caritas Internationalis, ACT Alliance and World Council of Churches side event to the Cancun climate summit on 7 December. Credits: Alberto Arciniega/Caritas
Faith communities came together to address climate change, poverty and sustainable development in a side event jointly organised by Caritas Internationalis, ACT Alliance and the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the Cancun climate summit on 7 December.
“We are talking about people, not words. It is about working towards climate justice so the poor don’t pay the price for climate change,” said the moderator Martina Liebsch, Director of Policy at Caritas Internationalis.
The four speakers at the event entitled “Faith based organizations advocate for climate justice” came from Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Thailand. Continue reading
Christine Campeau at a Caritas hosted Holy Mass for climate justice. It was a side event to the climate summit in Cancun. Credit: Alberto Arciniega/ Caritas Mexico
By Christine Campeau, Climate Change and Food Security Advisor
Caritas has always worked to serve the poor and most vulnerable people around the world. However ‘who’ those vulnerable people are has come under question at the climate negotiations here in Cancun.
Certain developing countries feel that they are being left out of the group and, as a result, risk losing out on their share of the limited climate funding available that has been made available.
Some countries have challenged the difference between the Bali Action Plan classification of vulnerable countries which includes Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Least Developed Countries (LCDs), and African countries and the list that is found in Article 4.8 of the UNFCCC which includes a much more comprehensive list of eligible countries. Continue reading
Inter-religious celebration during climate talks in Cancun. Credit Anne-Sophie Legge
By Anne -Sophie Legge, Cancun
English |Homily in Spanish |French
“We need a new alliance with creation that results in fraternity with all creatures”, said Msgr. Gustavo Rodríguez Vega, President of Caritas Mexico, at an interreligious celebration held on 4 December as side event to the Cancun climate summit.
The event was organised in cooperation with the World Council of Churches and brought together Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran and other religious leaders from different parts of the world.
“Brothers and sisters, we have come to Cancun not as prophets of calamities but as men and women of faith and hope. We know that a lot of skepticism persists about whether the representatives of our world’s nations will be able to conclude a binding agreement on the reduction of emissions causing climate change. (…) Those who govern us have a great responsibility when it comes to environmental targets: we call upon our Heads of State not to limit their discussions to defending productivity and competitiveness criteria but to place humanity at the centre,” said Msgr. Rodríguez Vega. Continue reading
I love KP stunt at the Cancun climate talks. Credit Christine Campeau/Caritas
By Christine Campeau, Climate Change and Food Security Advisor Palazzo San Calisto
We were greeted at the CancunMesse convention centre today with an offer to have our picture taken while standing in a heart, holding an ‘I love KP’ sign (KP is short for Kyoto Protocol). And we did. People lined up one by one to show their devotion for the legally binding treaty that is set to expire shortly.
This stunt in support of the Kyoto Protocol came in retaliation to the harsh statement made by Japan on Monday when it announced that it would ‘not inscribe its target under the Kyoto Protocol under any conditions or under any circumstances’. Yes, you heard it correctly. Continue reading