At COP24 governments must face the reality of climate change and commit – CIDSE
Photo by ADB (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

At COP24 governments must face the reality of climate change and commit

Photo by ADB (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
A family crosses flooded streets of Pakistan

World leaders are gathering today in Katowice, Poland, for the UN climate conference two months after the IPCC 1.5°C report confirmed that our future is incompatible with fossil fuels and with our current lifestyle based on overconsumption. In the face of this evidence, the COP must deliver higher commitments this year for the future of our planet and open the way for a different economy.

Last week, many world leaders called for stronger national climate targets by 2020 at the first online summit organized by the Climate Vulnerable Forum. They asked to save vulnerable nations threatened by warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius. “Our partners on the ground are already threatened by global warming. This is affecting their family lives, their livelihoods and even their cultural practices. We are one human family and we all have a moral responsibility to stop climate change as we are all contributing to it.” Said Josianne Gauthier, CIDSE Secretary General.

At this COP, countries must agree to a robust and fair “Paris rulebook”: a fair and cohesive set of implementation guidelines to solidify the Paris regime and a roadmap to finalize outstanding issues. COP24 must redirect the climate conversation towards unlocking ambition for States, catalysing fundamental changes in production and consumption in all sectors. Climate is not to be tackled in a vacuum: at COP24 we will advocate for agroecology as the way for producing and distributing food and we will promote renewable energy systems as a way to achieve climate justice.

More broadly, we support a post-growth future, putting aside our outdated and exploitative economic system that generates pollution and oppression instead of prosperity and harmony. In order to make such transition towards a renewable and sustainable future for all, a just finance becomes key: at COP24, developed countries will have to demonstrate strong commitments towards the most vulnerable communities suffering from climate change impacts. Finance is the enabler for unlocking solidarity and justice and ensure the most vulnerable communities can adapt to and rightly mitigate against climate change.

CIDSE will also be present at COP with a delegation of 100 young catholic volunteers coming from different continents, representing and voicing the people’s commitment for the care for our common home. “Our volunteers bring experiences of fighting for climate justice at local, national and international level. They stand as witnesses of what ordinary citizens can do to make a difference every day: act for climate while helping one another and leading collective actions. They represent the real hope for the future of our planet and upcoming generations and show that everybody can be a brave advocate for change.” Said Chiara Martinelli from CIDSE, one of the lead organizers of the delegation and of the campaign on sustainable lifestyles “Change for the Planet- Care for the People”.

Catholics have expressed their commitment for climate on several other occasions only in the past few months, always finding their inspiration in Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical “Laudato Si’”. Worldwide, the Church has called for ambitious and urgent climate action (October 2018). With a powerful appeal signed by six presidents of continental bishops’ conferences, leaders of the Catholic Church called government leaders to take ambitious and immediate action to tackle and over-come the devastating effects of the climate crisis. In the same month, responding to the release of the IPCC report, leaders of Catholic development agencies launched an urgent call for climate action and post-growth economy. We hope government leaders will listen to this call and act based on evidence at this COP.

Notes to the editors:

Check CIDSE’s website for regular updates on COP and its volunteers’ delegation.

CIDSE’s publication: “The Climate Urgency: Setting Sail for a New Paradigm” and our recent infographics illustrating it.

Energy to Change”, an upcoming documentary on sustainable energy for the people and the planet

Change for the Planet- Care for the People CIDSE’s campaign on sustainable lifestyles

Media contact: Valentina Pavarotti, CIDSE Communications and Media Relations Officer, pavarotti(at)

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