COP21: Translate the Paris agreement into concrete action with solidarity at its core
The General Secretary of COMECE, Patrick H. Daly, welcomes the responsibility and the sense of compromise which enabled 195 countries to reach an agreement which paves the way toward protection of our common home.
“ The adoption of the framework convention of the UN on climate change (CCNUCC) by 195 countries in Paris on 12 December represents a great forward step for humanity as a whole.
COMECE salutes the impressive work done by the negotiators and is particularly happy that the ten points raised in the Appeal to the Negotiators launched by the cardinals, patriarchs and bishops of the world, of which the COMECE President was a co-signatory, have been incorporated in the Paris agreement.
The aim of the agreement is clear and ambitious. The 195 countries commit themselves to limit the rise in average temperature across the planet to below 2°C, even positing a more ambitious limit to temperature rise to 1,5°C.
For many men and women in our world today, the threat of climate change has become a matter of sheer survival, while virtually every inhabitant of the planet is aware of the danger climate change poses. It was therefore vital for all humanity that an agreement be reached in Paris.
The Paris agreement proves that governments are capable of reaching agreement and working together when what really matters is at issue. This is good news for humanity. There is a real commitment to sharing and to solidarity between wealthy countries and the poorer ones. COMECE hopes this agreement is speedily ratified. The Church and its faithful need to be vigilant to see that the commitments signed up to by the states are translated into concrete action.
It has to be emphasised that the work to achieve authentic “ecological conversion”, flagged up by Pope Francis in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’, is only beginning and engages all the world’s citizens. Starting from today, Christians, in their families, their neighbourhoods, and their parishes across Europe are invited to commit themselves. They have to see to it that innovation, creativity and solidarity dovetail with a new lifestyle, richer in meaning and joy, to fight climate change.
In the report of its expert group, published in mid-November, COMECE provides ideas as to the path forward, makes recommendations and furnishes practical examples of success in mitigating the effects of climate change. COMECE would wish to invite the bishops’ conferences of Europe and the dioceses in each EU member state to use this report for their work in this domain and whenever they meet politicians or representatives of civil society.”
Patrick H. Daly, COMECE Secretary General
Contact: Johanna Touzel, COMECE Spokesperson and Press Officer
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