Yesterday was a full day of civil society events. We attended sessions on Global Inequalities and the Environment; an Interfaith Dialogue on Climate, Sustainability and Resiliency; and Fasting for Climate Justice. All were very informative and inspiring, but I couldn’t help but feel that the ones who really needed to hear the message were in the UN Delegates’ Blue Zone negotiating the future of the planet. Negotiations are now in process, with these crucial points on the table for discussion:
- A ceiling of 1.5 degrees C in terms of average global temperature rise.
- Finances and technology to be made available, with no strings attached, for those countries who lack the resources to deal with the negative impact of climate change.
- Whether or not the Paris outcome will be a binding agreement.
You may have read in the press that President Obama gave a forceful and impassioned intervention on the need for a positive outcome to the Paris talks. The dilemma, of course, is that Congress has already indicated their utter lack of support for a 2 degree or 1.5 degree ceiling. This is not surprising, in that they receive enormous support from the fossil fuel industries in the United States. In some way, then, this seems to indicate for us our ongoing work: to keep pressuring Congress to place the common good of people and planet ahead of their narrow partisan perspective.
In an effort to make sure our civil society voices were heard, the Dominicans present in Paris sent off a brief statement to the Delegates of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The statement can be accessed below.
–Margaret Mayce, OP (NGO Representative to the United Nations)