WCC delegation in Doha advocates for climate justice
Negotiations in Doha have achieved little in the way of a fair and binding treaty that could reverse the current trends in climate change. This was the observation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) delegates at the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 18.
At the conference in Qatar, concluding on 7 December, the WCC delegates stressed that governments of the industrialised countries and emerging economies are not ready to reduce their CO2 emissions drastically. This has become obvious, as there has been no agreement on concrete pledges for the Climate Fund, established at COP 16 two years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In Doha the WCC delegation joined other ecumenical actors and civil society groups to advocate for clear steps towards a climate treaty in 2015 which should be fair and acceptable to all countries.
“Time is running short. Extreme weather conditions this year in various parts of the world and recent reports, such as Turn down the heat by the World Bank and the Emissions Gap Report by United Nations Environment Program, show that negotiators need to agree on effective measures to address climate change,” said the WCC general secretary, the Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit.
“Populations in various parts of the world are already suffering the consequences of climate change,” said Dr Guillermo Kerber, WCC program executive on Care for Creation and Climate Justice.
He said that to achieve the treaty by 2015, concrete steps should be made in Doha. Among those, he said, are, “the ratification of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, an inclusion of adaptation, climate finance and loss and damage to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).”
Kerber said that while we advocate for a fair, ambitious and binding treaty to be adopted in 2015, “scaling up climate finance for developing countries and a strong agreement is the only way forward towards climate justice.”
“Moral, theological and spiritual” implications of the climate crisis were raised by the WCC along with other faith communities in Doha. At a side event on December 3, on “Environmental protection: religious perspectives” organised by the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, representatives of Muslims, Christians and representatives of Brahma Kumaris issued a joint call for the protection of the whole creation.
The WCC will also deliver a statement to a high level segment of the conference. On Friday, December 7, the WCC will organise a side event on “ethical and religious insights on climate change” at the conference in Doha.
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