Last December, 195 countries came together in Paris and negotiated an historic agreement on climate change.
Create a Climate of Change News
The 2015 Development and Peace fall education campaign has been a big success with thousands of Canadians across the country leading the campaign in their communities, parishes, and schools.
While negotiators from 195 countries were cloistered at Le Bourget last week at the COP21, Development and Peace staff and members joined British, French, Belgian, Dutch, German, Spanish, and Italian staff and supporters from Catholic development organizations from across Europe to share their commitment to climate justice. They inspired each other with strategies and solutions for fighting against climate change and for a more just world.
Although the focus of the COP21 is on the negotiations themselves, the more effervescent aspect of this global conference is all the dynamic events organized by civil society and social movements on the sidelines. One of the most anticipated events was a panel that included Canadian activist Naomi Klein and Joseph Purugannan, Coordinator at Focus on the Global South in the Philippines and one of Development and Peace’s partners.
Several of Development and Peace’s partners have been present at the COP21 in Paris to remind negotiators of those in the Global South who are living the impacts of climate change now. One of the key points that was negotiated at the climate conference is a fund to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries in adapting and mitigating climate change.
That was the rallying cry that was heard all though Paris on December 12th, when climate justice activists from around the world converged at noon on the Champs Elysees to show that even if the COP21 climate negotiations have come to a close, the struggle for climate justice is not about to end - rather it is gaining force. Participants formed red lines to represent the threshold that can’t be crossed if the planet and humanity are to survive. Thousands gathered, forming a peaceful sea of red.
After two weeks of intense negotiations, the COP21 is ending with an agreement. It may not be the agreement we had hoped for, or one that reflects the height of the large citizen mobilizations that happened in the lead-up to the COP21, but it is an agreement that we must work with.
Wednesday, December 9, 3:36 p.m. The new draft agreement has finally come out! Excitement is at its peak. Will the new draft live up to our expectations? In his introductory speech, Laurent Fabius, President of the COP21 Summit and French Foreign Minister, forewarned that so long as there is no consensus, there will be no agreement. With this statement, the writing was already on the wall: despite some positive advances, which give us hope that a satisfactory agreement remains possible, the draft leaves an overall impression of disappointment.
It has been just over a week since the climate negotiations have been ongoing in Paris. The objective of the COP21 is clear: to reach an ambitious and legally binding agreement that will limit the temperature rise to less than 2°C between now and 2100, and to support vulnerable countries in the Global South in the struggle against climate change. In essence, the agreement must facilitate the transition to a global economy that is based on 100% renewable energies.
Being in Paris for COP21 is far from relaxing! I had no sooner arrived than I was participating in a meeting between Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the Minister of the Environment, and Quebec civil society representatives on the scene in Paris. Academics, trade union members, environmental and international solidarity organizations, members of First Nations, municipalities, and companies all had the opportunity to listen to Philippe Couillard, but they were able to share their concerns with him as well.
This second week at COP21 has been very exciting because political discussions are underway: the speeches by the heads of state got the ball rolling, establishing the framework within which negotiations will take place; subsequently, teams of negotiators took over and offered an agreement with the number of options reduced as much as possible. The most recent draft agreement was circulated last Sunday. Now ministers are returning for the final stretch of negotiations with the goal of presenting a final text by Wednesday evening.
According to the Government of France, who is hosting the COP21, the objective of the Paris Climate Conference is to come to an international agreement that will limit the rise of the planet’s global temperature to less than 2 Celsius between now and 2100, and to help communities adapt to the existing effects of climate change. This broad overall objective can be subdivided into four categories that address the following specific issues: rising temperatures; voluntary national contributions; climate financing; and false solutions.
While representatives of 195 states are negotiating about one of the most important issues for the future of our planet, the mobilization of civil society, here, in Paris, is in full swing to promote alternative and sustainable solutions for combating climate change.
As world leaders descended upon Paris for the COP21 climate negotiations on November 29th, 785,000 people marched worldwide to tell them that it is time to take real action on climate change. Here in Canada, 25,000 people gathered in Ottawa, while other marches took place from Antigonish, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, B.C.
On November 29, the world will be speaking out on climate justice as never before. Development and Peace is honoured to be joining hundreds of thousands of people around the world who will walk in Ottawa, Lima, Lagos, Jakarta, Manila, and hundreds of other cities around the world. Indigenous peoples, communities in the Global South, environmentalists, people of faith, engaged youth and families are coming together around the globe to demand an ambitious new climate agreement at COP21.
The Paris 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) begins in less than two weeks! People around the world are walking for the future of our planet. We walk for transformative, systemic change, for a radical change in individual and collective lifestyles, for alternatives that exist and work, and for climate action now!
Following the release of Development and Peace’s election guide, the Liberal Party of Canada sent us a formal response. The Liberals were the only party to do so. Since the Liberals will now be forming government, we would like to share this official response from the Liberals. The Development and Peace election guide included ten questions for candidates from the various political parties.
With the federal election now behind us, this is the time to show our newly elected government that we are expecting bold action on climate change at the December UN climate summit in Paris. This summit will be the new Canadian government’s first opportunity to show the world that our country is ready to change course and take bold action for a more sustainable and equitable world.
Pope Francis has declared September 1st as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This date coincides with a similar celebration that was established by the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. This makes it a day of ecumenical prayer, which is fitting since climate change affects us all.
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is launching a new campaign called “Create a Climate of Change” on September 1st, which is World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, to bring attention to the devastating impacts of climate change on some of the poorest countries in the world - and to ask Canada to do more to reduce the world’s carbon emissions.
Development and Peace welcomes this week’s release of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, which will be focused on the environment and care for creation. To be published on June 18th, the encyclical is expected to address climate change as a social injustice that requires urgent action.
The United Nations climate change negotiations (COP21) in Paris in December will be a key moment in determining the future of our planet and its people. It will be a time when world leaders can make a real commitment to reduce carbon emissions and diminish the impacts of climate change. Catholic organizations from around the world will be making a pilgrimage to Paris to compel world leaders to agree to a binding treaty at these negotiations.
This is the slogan for our upcoming 2015 education and action campaign this fall! In anticipation of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in December 2015, where world leaders will negotiate a new international agreement that will determine the future of climate change, Development and Peace is joining Catholic and civil society organizations around the world who are taking action for climate justice.