As the world's governments convene in Doha for the UN climate talks, CWS is calling as loudly as ever for the international action necessary to tackle climate change.
CWS is part of ACT Alliance which is strongly represented at Doha lobbying for greater commitment to both reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation. It is also a member of Tcktcktck which is also providing regular posts on events in Doha.
Qatar is the first Gulf country to host the international climate change talks. Ironically Qatar is also one of the leading producers of oil and has the highest greenhouse gas emissions per capita of anywhere in the world. On Saturday 1 December several hundred climate activists, including members of a fledgling Arab youth movement, participated in Qatar’s first-ever environmental march. They waved banners and called for Arab governments to take the lead in tackling climate change. They urged politicians attending the U.N. climate talks in Qatar to make commitments to reduce emissions from fossil fuels, use more renewable energy, and provide fresh funds to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts and develop in a low-carbon way.
But real commitment to reducing carbon emissions is wavering. For example the Russian government is refusing to join the Kyoto second commitment period, and appears to be backing away from its unconditional 25% emission reduction target announced by Prime Minister Medvedev during the Rio+20 summit in June in favour of the earlier 15-25% range stated in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord.
Contrast this with the German government’s target of 80 per cent renewable power by 2050, although many Germans believe they will have achieved 100 per cent renewable power by then.
In New Zealand Minister Tim Groser announced on 9 November that New Zealand would not sign up to the second commitment period (CP2) under the Kyoto Protocol. New Zealand will not presently commit to any specific target on carbon emission reduction over 1990 until “technical issues” are clearer. Instead New Zealand will shift its alliance towards the group of countries least committed to real reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This group includes the China, India, Japan, Russia and the United States.
CWS has written to Minister Tim Groser urging him to take a leadership role in supporting greater efforts towards real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Open Letter to Ministers attending COP 18 signed by ACT Alliance and many others, December 4, 2012.
ACT Alliance member DanChurchAid's smart, witty film Ripples won the 2011 global climate film competition at the COP17 climate conference in Durban. The film tells the story of how poor people in Bangladesh, with support from ACT members Rangpur Dinajpur Rural Service and DCA, improve their possibilities to live with the effects of climate change.
God of light and life, we see you in the rising sun,
the wind blowing through the fields of maize,
and the feel of a life-giving shower of rain.
Help us to see your light reflected throughout creation.
God of compassion, you are there with those people
who are facing the effects of a changing climate,
and are affected by floods, droughts and famine.
Show us how to be there with them too.
God of truth and justice, you hear those people around the world,
who struggle to make their voices heard.
Open our ears and the ears of those in power
to hear the cries of those living in poverty.
God of hope, we see you in people who refuse to give up,
who will not lose faith and keep on fighting,
for your earth and for your people.
Lift us, so that we may never lose hope.
Adapted from Michaela McGuigan/CAFOD