This year’s conference “Global Climate Change: Economic Challenges and Solutions” will delve into international policy, new economics, and the climate justice and grassroots activism occurring worldwide due to climate change.
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In his opening remarks to the media during the closing day of the COP21 climate talks in Le Bourget, France on 11 December 2015, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shared, “I have been attending many difficult multilateral negotiations, but by any standard, this negotiation is most complicated, most difficult, but most important for humanity.”
This statement reflects the weight of expectations placed on COP21. For many, the Paris Agreement was a success, reflecting a universal, explicit acknowledgement among the nations of the world, that climate change is a serious issue requiring urgent action. However, while long on ambition, the Agreement falls short on steps for concrete action.
There is no doubt that the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (COP15) in December 2009, caused a real trauma in the world of climate change negotiations. Since then, these negotiations have taken on a tone of fatalism or at least a huge prudence. But there is an acknowledgement that COP 21, presently taking place in Paris, is proceeding more smoothly than Copenhagen. The messages released by world leaders at the opening ceremony were much more positive than in previous occasions.
The tension held during the first week of the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Le Bourget, Paris, France is clearly a sign of the times and a time when we define the future. The decisions may not be in ink but the momentum to achieve commitment is building up rapidly. It is unlikely that 150 leaders will attend COP22 in November 2016. That meeting may help the economy of Marrakech, Morocco but critical difference has to be made here and now so that we go home doing the right things.
It is no coincidence Pope Francis is in Africa while world leaders gather in Paris in the run-up to COP21. As part of a high-level Vatican strategy to catalyze action on climate change – in which Laudato si’ (LS) was a timely and well-planned element – Francis wants to offer a complementary view from the South, where the consequences of climate disruption and many other social and environmental ills are affecting the lives of millions.
CIDSE’s Paris, for the People and for the Planet: Placing the moral dimension of climate change at the core
CIDSE, an international global alliance of 17 Catholic development agencies working together for global justice put together a report that sets out CIDSE’s vision for the climate agreement, one that places the moral dimension of climate change at the core.