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.