News - 22 December 2014

en - On the Road to Paris, from COP20 to COP 21

`We the Catholic Bishops of all continents have come together in Lima on the occasion of COP20 to join the efforts of world leaders....’
Read what the Bishops said.

Introduction – from COP20 to COP21

We Catholic Bishops from all continents have come together in Lima on
the occasion of COP20 to join the efforts of world leaders as they work
towards signing a just and legally binding climate agreement in Paris in
2015.
Following the evangelical option for the poor, we work closely with the
most vulnerable communities and the excluded and as such are closely
attuned to how the problem of climate change is affecting them. Our
message to political leaders and all people of good will is rooted in the
experience and suffering of these poor communities.

Humankind on the Planet Earth is ordained to live in equity, justice and
dignity, peace and harmony in the midst of the order of Creation.
Humankind is ordered to treat respectfully Creation, which has a value in
itself. We Catholic Bishops recognize the atmosphere, rainforests, oceans
and agricultural land as common good that require our care.

Climate Change and Climate Justice today

We recognize that much good has happened on Earth through the rightful
and responsible intelligence, technology and industry of humankind under
God’s loving care. And yet in recent decades many grave adversities such
as climate change, with its devastating impact on Nature itself, on food
security, health and migration, led to a great number of suffering people
worldwide.
We express an answer to what is considered God’s appeal to take action
on the urgent and damaging situation of global climate warming. The
main responsibility for this situation lies with the dominant global
economic system, which is a human creation. In viewing objectively the
destructive effects of a financial and economic order based on the
primacy of the market and profit, which has failed to put the human
being and the common good at the heart of the economy, one must
recognize the systemic failures of this order and the need for a new
financial and economic order.

 We note with appreciation that, in our times, States, Religions and
Groups of Civil Society and individuals at all levels are recognizing more
and more the natural as well as the ethical concerns of this matter. We
wish to see therefore a deepening of the discourse at the COP20 in Lima,
to ensure concrete decisions are taken at COP21 to overcome the climate
challenge and to set us on new sustainable pathways.
We recognize that in line with truly democratic principles the poor and
the poorer nations, who are many and are more affected by climate
change impacts, are also agents in the development of nations and
human life on earth. They also give us a voice and a sense of hope in our
times as we face crises such as climate change. We hope their gentle,
meaningful and active participation will encourage decision makers to
develop more mixed systems instead of “one size fits all” modern
technological-industrial approaches.

We as Bishops call on all parties

1. to keep in mind not only the technical but particularly the ethical and
moral dimensions of climate change as indicated in Article 3 of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).2
2. To adopt a fair and legally binding global agreement based on the
universal human rights applicable to all in Paris in 2015.
3. to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5 degree Celsius,
relative to pre-industrial levels, in order to protect frontline
communities suffering from the impacts of climate change, such as
those in the Pacific Islands and in the coastal regions.
4. to build new models of development and lifestyles that are both
climate compatible and bring people out of poverty. Central to this is
to put an end to the fossil fuel era, phasing out fossil fuel emissions
and phasing in 100% renewables with sustainable energy access for all.
5. to ensure that the 2015 agreement delivers an adaptation approach
that adequately responds to the immediate needs of the most
vulnerable communities and builds on local alternatives. They should
ensure that 50% of public funds go to meeting their adaptation needs.
6. to recognize that adaptation needs are contingent on the success of
mitigation measures taken. Those responsible for climate change have
responsibilities to assist the most vulnerable in adapting and managing
loss and damage and to share the necessary technology and knowhow.
7. to adopt clear roadmaps on how countries will meet predictable and
additional finance commitments and establish robust and transparent
accounting methodologies.

Our commitment

We Catholic Bishops believe that Creation is life offered, is a gift for one
another and that all will have the needed “daily bread”, providing
sustainable food security and nutrition.

We Catholic Bishops commit ourselves to developing the sense of
‘gratuitousness’3 to contribute to a lifestyle which frees us from a desire
of appropriation and enables us to be respectful of the dignity of the
person and the harmony of creation.

We Bishops want to accompany the political process and seek dialogue to
bring the voices of the poor to the table of decision-makers;
We are convinced that everyone has a capacity to contribute to overcome
climate change and to choose sustainable lifestyles.

We Bishops call on all Catholics and people of good will to engage on the
road to Paris as a starting point for a new life in harmony with Creation
respecting planetary boundaries.

BISHOP SIGNATORIES TO THIS DECLARATION:

Monsignor Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón, Archbishop of Ayacucho,
Peru. President of the Bishops’ Conference of Peru
Monsignor Pedro Barreto Jimeno, Archbishop of Huancayo, Peru.
President of the Justice and Solidarity Department of the Latin American
Bishops Conference (CELAM)Monsignor Sithembele Antón Sipuka, Bishop of Umtata, South Africa.
Representative of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and
Madagascar (SECAM)
Monsignor Theotonius Gomes, Auxiliary Bishop of Dhaka (Emeritus),
Bangladesh. Representative of the Federation of Asian Bishops
Conferences (FABC)
Monsignor Marc Stenger, Bishop of Troyes, Representative of the
Episcopal Conference of France
Monsignor Zanoni Demettino Castro, Archbishop of Feira de Santana,
Brazil. Representative of the Bishops’ Conference of Brazil
Monsignor Richard Alarcón Urrutia, Bishop of Tarma, President of CaritasConference of France
Monsignor Zanoni Demettino Castro, Archbishop of Feira de Santana,
Brazil. Representative of the Bishops’ Conference of Brazil
Monsignor Richard Alarcón Urrutia, Bishop of Tarma, President of Caritas
Peru
Monsignor Jaime Rodríguez, Bishop of Huánuco, Perú
Monsignor Alfredo Vizcarra, Bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of San
Francisco Javier de Jaén, Perú

Written in collaboration with our Catholic agencies CEAS (Peru), CIDSE,
Caritas Internationalis, CAFOD (UK), CCFD–Terre Solidaire (France),
Cordaid (The Netherlands), Development and Peace (Canada), MISEREOR
(Germany), Secours Catholique (France) and Trócaire (Ireland).
3 Caritas