CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE JUSTICE
Speaker: Kevin McCullough Head of Campaigns CAFOD
Kevin Mc Cullough gave us much food for thought and action when he addressed us on Saturday at our Niland Conference Centre in Bushey.
Here is a summary of Kevins presentations;
- We cannot address poverty without addressing climate change. The frequency and severity of extreme weather is increasing, putting millions of people at risk of losing lives, homes and crops
- We urgently need a fair, ambitious and binding global climate deal, in which the voices of poor countries, who are most affected by climate change, are listened to. The UN is the best place for this to happen.
- In this deal, rich countries need to promise to raise $195 billion each year by 2020, in addition to existing commitments on overseas development aid, to help poor countries cope with climate change – and to cut carbon emissions by more than 40 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020.
- The result? A low carbon future which can benefit everybody, providing more jobs and a cleaner environment in the UK and worldwide.
“Creation reflects God’s goodness. To love God is, among other things, to give thanks and praise for the gifts of creation and to recognise that they are destined for all people.” Archbishop Vincent Nichols, speaking at The Wave, December 2009
What’s the story so far?
It’s clear that a changing climate is making life harder and more risky for the communities that we work with overseas. Their stories support the scientific evidence that we live in warming world. In 2008, we campaigned alongside green groups, unions and development agencies in the UK for a strong Climate Change Act. As a result, the UK became the first country in the world to make emissions cuts a legal requirement. Public support has grown for rich countries to cut their own emissions and to help poor countries develop sustainably, culminating in a huge global campaign calling for a fair climate deal in December 2009. This put the spotlight on the Copenhagen climate talks, and the unprecedented 120 heads of state who attended. But, this time, world leaders failed to take the action we urgently need.
Developed countries (apart from the USA) have a legal duty to cut emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. This agreement is based on fairness: developed countries have historically produced most emissions, so must bear most responsibility for sorting out the problem. But it runs out in just two years and talks at Copenhagen failed to provide a suitable replacement.
Instead, a small group of countries, working behind closed doors, produced a non-binding ‘accord’ with few clear targets. The accord states the importance of keeping global temperature rises under 2ºC, but doesn’t outline a plan for doing so. This is based on what science shows is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. We’re worried that poor countries, who are most affected by climate change, will be bypassed in decision-making if rich countries get impatient with their demands. If they take discussions out of the UN, then how will poor countries – and their people – have a voice?
What can we do?
For those worst affected by the impacts of climate change
For CAFOD and the work of our partners around the world who work with people who live in poverty to adapt to the impact of climate change.
For a fair, ambitious and binding global climate deal.
Through the European Union, the UK can still have an impact on the international stage. Our government can press them to lead by example, by committing to emissions cuts of 30 per cent, building up to 40 per cent We can demand that the money pledged to help poor countries adapt to climate change is not taken out of existing aid budgets. And we raise our voices alongside those of people in developing countries, to make sure that they continue to play a full part in negotiations.
3. Live Simply
Live simply , sustainably and in solidarity with the poor in practical ways. http://www.cafod.org.uk/livesimply
4. Climate Justice