by Pax Christi International
Pax Christi International issued this statement at the beginning of the COP21 talks in Paris earlier this week.
Thousands of people from government, industry, intergovernmental organisations and civil society are expected to attend meetings and activities during the UN climate change conference (COP21), to be held 30 November-11 December 2015 in Paris.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), of which Pax Christi International is a member, has collected more than 800.000 signatures on its Catholic Climate Petition, to be delivered on 28 November to world leaders attending COP21. The petition, inspired by the words of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, urges leaders to drastically cut carbon emissions.
Pax Christi International and its member organisations strongly believe gross misuse of natural resources and environmental degradation significantly contributes to instability and conflict around the world. In that light, we want COP21 to be treated as a peace conference; if strong and effective decisions are made in Paris, a more peaceful future is possible.
Marches in support of definitive and strong results from COP21 have been scheduled to be held on 29 November in more than 2,000 cities around the world. Regrettably, the Paris march, which was supposed to be the largest one, was cancelled by the French government after the November 13 terrorist attacks.
We cannot allow terror to change the subject of COP21. With resource wars AND climate instability both driving migration, the goal of the summit must be creating the conditions for lasting peace. Delegates must agree on legally enforceable commitments to keep fossil-fuel reserves in the ground; poorer countries must receive funding to deal with climate change; and those who are migrating due to climate change must have their rights respected…