The Season of Creation has begun. What are you doing? See blog entry Climate Emergency. The Global Catholic Climate Movement has some good material in many languages Yesterday, Pope Francis urges the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and all people of good will to take urgent action against the injustice of climate change and the ecological crisis, to protect the poor and future generations. There is the opportunity to take a pledge in line with the vision of Laudato Si as an individual, family, community or organization. In taking the pledge you commit to i) Pray for and with creation, ii) Live more simply, iii) Advocate to protect our common home. If you, your family, community or organizations are interested visit the website ‘Live Laudato Si.
Was the Canadian Artist Mr. Claude Lafortune prophetic when he portrayed Saint Mary Euphrasia leaning over a trampled flower to bring it back to life? ” A person and creation are inalienable, one is not of more value than the other.”
The Season of Creation is the time of year when the world’s 2.2 billion Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It runs annually from September 1 through October 4. The theme for this year is ‘The Web of Life.’ It was first proclaimed by the Patriarch Dimitrios 1 for the Orthodox in 1989 and endorsed by people Francis in 2015. See letter of 23 May 2019 and letter of 5 June 2019 Visit their website and explore many resources it holds The website is in English, French,Spanish, and Portuguese
The UN Secretary General António Guterres has convened a Climate Summit for Monday 23rd September 2019. This will take place during the opening of the 74th Session of the General Assembly September 17th – 30, 2019. UN Secretary-General is calling on all leaders to come to New York on 23 September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050. Climate Week in New York City is September 23 – 29 in collaboration with the United Nations and wants to urge accelerated action for climate change.
In order to ensure that the transformative actions in the real economy are as impactful as possible, the Secretary-General has prioritized the following action portfolios, which are recognized as having high potential to curb greenhouse gas emissions and increased global action on adaptation and resilience.
Finance: mobilizing public and private sources of finance to drive decarbonization of all priority sectors and advance resilience;
Energy Transition: accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, as well as making significant gains in energy efficiency;
Industry Transition: transforming industries such as Oil and Gas, Steel, Cement, Chemicals and Information Technology;
Nature-Based Solutions: Reducing emissions, increasing sink capacity and enhancing resilience within and across forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems, including through biodiversity conservation, leveraging supply chains and technology;
Cities and Local Action: Advancing mitigation and resilience at urban and local levels, with a focus on new commitments on low-emission buildings, mass transport and urban infrastructure; and resilience for the urban poor;
Resilience and Adaptation: advancing global efforts to address and manage the impacts and risks of climate change, particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable.
In addition, there are three additional key areas:
Mitigation Strategy: to generate momentum for ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Youth Engagement and Public Mobilization: To mobilize people worldwide to take action on climate change and ensure that young people are integrated and represented across all aspects of the Summit, including the six transformational areas.
Social and Political Drivers: to advance commitments in areas that affect people’s well-being, such as reducing air pollution, generating decent jobs, and strengthening climate adaptation strategies and protect workers and vulnerable groups.
Check out each of the nine areas – see the countries that are working on a particular thematic area and who are supporting. While the graphics only illustrate 6 areas the one that we are most interested in is Social and Political Drivers ensuring that the economic, environmental and social aspects of the transformation of economies and societies towards greater sustainability are managed in ways that maximize opportunities of decent work for all, reduce inequalities, promote social justice, and enhance country’s efforts to improve the people’s health.
One heading on expected outcomes address gender equality and climate change focusing on national climate change plans with gender action plans.
Where does one start? It can all seem so vast and out of our reach. A very good place to begin is with the position paper – See especially Page 15 for the critical action points.
Are you aware that there are Regional Weeks on Climate? One in Latin America and one in Asia preceding the Summit in New York. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Climate Change Conference will take place in Santiago in December 2019 More information HERE Website in French and Spanish.
On September 1, Christians from around the world will be praying as part of Creation Day and the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. If you are unable to join a service in your local community, you can join our prayer service online or through your phone. Representatives from Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and Episcopalian churches will guide us in a 30 minute service of prayer, silence, and reflection. There will also be a chance for participants to share their own prayer for creation and our brothers and sisters. Check here for the details
Have you been reflecting on ‘Laudatio Si’? HERE Are you following the ratifications of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change? HERE Signatures without ratifications leave the agreement unfulfilled. Sustainable Goal 13 is on Climate Action ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.’ Read more on this here
Last evening a 40 minute film was premiered in New York and will be launched today across the globe. It is a new phase in the climate movement. It is the story of four communities preparing to participate in Break Free from Fossil Fuel actions in May 2016.
Terrible news from Honduras regarding human rights defender, Berta Caceres. We will keep her in our thoughts and prayers. She is a victim of what we call the Extractives Development Model–the nexus of unscrupulous business, corrupt government and the devastating extractives industry. (Rosa Lizarde)
We are shocked and saddened to learn of the assassination of Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader of the Lenca people, Berta Cáceres.
Berta Cáceres’ faithful leadership of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) reflected not only her dedication to nonviolent resistance to illegal logging and mega-projects that devastate the environment but also her deeply felt belief in the rights of indigenous communities to their land and livelihoods. Maryknoll
Photo: Berta Caceres, courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize.
Berta Caceres (You Tube) Berta Cáceres, galadornada del Premio Goldman 2015, Honduras
Friday February 12, was the last day of the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development. The remaining NGO’s wishing to make oral statements were heard including our statement Text ‘Inequality Matters’
The statement addresses the causes and effects of poverty and its consequent human rights violations, and disempowerment of women, girls, children and local communities on a daily basis. It is our experience that when people are at the centre of their own development they can and do move out of poverty to enjoy quality life and well-being.
This statement will be further elaborated through our documentary ‘Maisha – A new life outside the mines’ illustrating the ministry of our mission partners in Kolwezi, DRC under the leadership of our Mission Development Office in Rome and its director Cristina Duranti.
“The second project is a new development within the already successful ‘No Interest Lending Scheme developed by Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with the Australian Government and banks. Good Shepherd Microfinance offers loans and other people-centred financial programs to people on low incomes at 650 locations across Australia. People are enabled to define and then realize their own economic well-being and feel valued and in control of their finances and lives. The new development, to be launched in early 2016, is an insurance scheme that permits people flexibility in what to insure and in how to pay. It is Australia’s first insurance product for people on low incomes. In their May 2015 Budget, the Australian Government made a commitment to develop the country’s first Financial Inclusion Action Plan programme. ‘Essentials by AAI’, developed by Good Shepherd Microfinance and Suncorp, showcases what can be achieved when community-based organizations and an ethical corporate sector work together in collaboration with governments. Essential by AAI These partnerships are based on inclusion, respect and shared commitment to justice and equality.”
The statement concludes with 5 Recommendations.
If you are on Facebook or Twitter why not start a conversation on what does social development mean in the contemporary world? A significant part of our contemporary world is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
‘Laudato Si’ has much to say about the contemporary world, poverty and growing inequality. A quote from our statement “There is a need for people-centred socioeconomic policies to alleviate inequality, reform public services and pensions, create good jobs and better labour conditions, address low living standards, enact land reform, and secure the human rights to food, water, energy, transportation and housing, among others. Social justice should be at the core of every effort and a strong focus should be put into tackling the root causes of poverty and inequality.”