Declaration of the President of COMECE
on the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen
On the eve of the European Council meeting which will take place on 10-11 December in Brussels, the President of COMECE, Mgr Adrianus van Luyn, calls on the decision-makers of the EU and its 27 Member States to do everything in their power to ensure that an ambitious, comprehensive and just climate protection agreement will be adopted in Copenhagen under the umbrella of the United Nations.
"The world community will only be able to cope with the challenge of climate change, if all politically responsible persons pull together. In Copenhagen the global common good must prevail over narrow national interests. Time is short. Instead of half-hearted tactics decisive action is needed." The President of COMECE makes a special plea to the European Union: "The EU has in the past conclusively demonstrated that it is capable of leading worldwide efforts in the fight against climate change. We ask the EU decision-makers to again take on this leading role in Copenhagen."
Climate change is increasingly becoming a question of survival for future generations. It puts justice between the generations to a severe test. Bishop van Luyn calls on all decision-makers to take to their hearts the plea of Pope Benedict XVI, "to hand the earth on to future generations in such a condition that they too can worthily inhabit it and continue to cultivate it". 
Today many people are already suffering from the effects of climate change. Developing countries in particular are often helpless in the face of increased flooding, periods of drought, water scarcity, crop failures and extreme weather events. Global warming up to now has largely been caused by the industrialisation which started in 'Western' economies and by the consumption-oriented lifestyle of wealthy societies. "It is therefore not an act of charity, but an act of justice, says Mgr van Luyn, if we enable developing countries through strong financial support to adapt to the damaging effects of climate change, and to offer them perspectives for ecologically sustainable growth."
"We are firmly convinced that a worldwide climate protection agreement must be committed to the goal of limiting the increase of global average temperature to less than 2°C. In order to reach this goal, not only the industrialised countries, but also the large emerging countries must commit themselves to a far-reaching reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the recommendations of the scientific community."
Furthermore, a climate protection agreement should contain obligatory targets for developed countries regarding technology transfer to and financial support for developing countries. Financial support will allow investments in energy efficiency, renewable energies and environmentally-friendly technologies as well as funding measures to help developing countries adapt to climate change. This type of 'climate aid' should be granted in addition to the development aid which has already been agreed on for other purposes.
Bishop van Luyn furthermore encourages the faithful and all people of good will to adopt an ecologically sustainable lifestyle, marked by a return to the non-material values of life and by a spirit of voluntary moderation. "We need today more than ever a holistic view of life, which is not founded on material richness, but on the richness of human relations, cultural and spiritual values."
 Caritas in Veritate, para 50