Sister Teresa Kotturan, NGO Representative to the United Nations for the Sisters of Charity Federation reports regarding UN Climate Change Conference
Climate Change is a global problem, and Pope Francis has called “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affects us all.” We need to hear “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” (Laudato Si)
CMP21COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties, will be held in Le Bourget, France (near Paris) November 30 to December 11. This is the annual meeting of all countries which want to take action for the climate. This is held under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and 196 countries participate in it. It provides a framework for negotiating specific international treaties/protocols/agreements to set binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference aims to bring together all the Member States, regardless of their economic development, under one climate change system. The outcome/treaty of the Conference will be different from previous conferences. It will have a Top-Down approach (International Legally binding Aspects) and Bottom-Up approach (National Non-Legally Binding Aspects). The intended outcomes would be basically non-legally binding commitments each country makes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Taken together, in theory they should limit global warming to below 2.0 Centigrade – to pre-industrial level. The legally binding aspect is the international framework for the means of implementations. It includes financing, technology transfer mechanisms as well as monitoring and review. It is aimed to create a common and transparent framework which will help all member states to measure their climate change actions under the same criteria.
Let us pray that member countries at the Climate Change Conference in Paris will enter into honest dialogue and debate to provide concrete solutions to the environmental crisis. Our survival depends on the survival of our planet, ‘our common home.’
Keep up to date on the latest news from the Conference at: http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/