Columbans join Inter-Faith Statement to Morocco Climate talks
10th November 2016 - by Ellen Teague
The Columban missionaries have signed an inter-faith statement which will be presented to the COP22 climate talks, currently underway in Morocco. Superior General, Kevin O’Neill endorsed on behalf of the Society.
At this historic moment, as the Paris Agreement enters into force, an unprecedented global consensus has produced a universal framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to build greater resilience to climate impacts. We are profoundly grateful for the leadership that produced this agreement. We are also mindful of the challenges and complexity that lie ahead.
The Statement also emphasises, that across all faiths we share a moral obligation to not harm others, to be fair and to care for the vulnerable.
Global society’s continued use of fossil fuels and other extractive industries, while knowing the damage they cause, is ethically untenable. We must deliberately turn away from investing in fossil fuels and we stand together, to call for a collective shift by sovereign wealth funds and public sector pension funds from fossil fuels towards climate solutions. This will send a necessary and transformative signal to public and private borrowers and investors worldwide and will help end the fossil fuel era.
We must commit to new ways of living that honor the dynamic relationships between all forms of life to deepen awareness and the spiritual dimension of our lives. We appeal to all people living today to draw on courage, hope, wisdom and spiritual reflection to enable our young and future generations to inherit a more caring and sustainable world. This is the time to step forward and act as trustees to Mother Earth. Together, by supporting each other’s progress we can go further and faster.
KEY POLICY POINTS – COP22 Statement:
Urgently ask States to rapidly increase pledges to reduce emissions, in line with the 1.5°C goal;
Call for a collective shift by sovereign wealth funds and public sector pension funds away from fossil fuels into renewables and other climate solutions;
Strongly request an increase in global financial flows to end energy poverty with renewable energy and to provide for greater human and ecological adaptation, particularly to compensate for loss and damage, technology transfer and capacity building;
Appeal to all States, when taking action to address climate change, to ensure the commitments contained in the preamble of the Agreement related to human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, a just transition, food security, intergenerational equity and the integrity of all ecosystems are effectively reflected in any decision adopted at the COP22;
Request stricter controls on the dispute mechanisms within trade agreements that utilize extrajudicial tribunals to challenge government policies;
Ask, including within our own faith communities, for more commitments to divest -invest from fossil fuels into renewable energy and targeted engagement with companies on climate change. We need to ground this work in pursuing a just transition to renewable energy.