News from the Laudato Si Movement on preparations for COP 28. COP 28 will take place from November 30 to December 12, 2023 hosted by the United Arab Emireates in Dubai. There is deep concern about the urgent need for action at COP28, especially in the face of the alarming promotion of fossil fuels by the host and so many other powerful nations. “The fossil fuel industry and its armies of poisonous lobbyists are putting immense pressure on governments worldwide to do the opposite of what is needed to protect God’s sacred gift of Creation.” Are you aware of the fossil fuel industry in your country? How can you join a campaign to end fossil fuels now?
Pope Francis wrote in Laudate Deum, COP28 “can represent a change of direction, showing that everything done since 1992 was in fact serious and worth the effort, or else it will be a great disappointment and jeopardize whatever good has been achieved thus far” (54). (Picture below from Laudato Si Movement letter)
Learn more about UNFCC Review the schedule of the conference is here
Read the full text HERE This is a much shorter document than ‘Laudato Si’ relevant and to the point with regard to the situation of the world today. On glancing my favourite paragraph is No 38. ” In the medium-term, globalization favours spontaneous cultural interchanges, greater mutual knowledge and processes of integration of peoples, which end up provoking a multilateralism “from below” and not simply one determined by the elites of power. The demands that rise up from below throughout the world, where activists from very different countries help and support one another, can end up pressuring the sources of power. It is to be hoped that this will happen with respect to the climate crisis. For this reason, I reiterate that “unless citizens control political power – national, regional and municipal – it will not be possible to control damage to the environment”. ”
Read five takeaways provided by Maryknoll HERE The end of their blog page suggests two actions:
What can you do now?
Join a webinar to learn more about Laudate Deum, organized by the Catholic Climate Covenant tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 5 at 12pm Eastern Time.
Sign a letter to world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in December about the need for wealthy nations to contribute to the Loss and Damage Fund to help countries most vulnerable to climate change.
Justice Coalition of Religious (JCor) have published the following Bulletin It contains some interesting information – for the United Nations, Global and Regional updates in relevant languages according to region. Some of you already join the JCoR Global Community Hour – It is on 11 March 2022, 8:00am (EST). English-Spanish interpretation is provided – Register Here
There is some very useful information on the Commission on the Status of Women in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. This is followed by a sections on Latin America and the Caribbean;East and Southern Africa and India.
JCoR have prepared a very comprehensive overview of The Commission on the Status of Women which I encourage you to review. It is currently in English and will appear in Spanish soon.
Good Shepherd have various activities happening in the Virtual Booth hosted on the NGOCSW Forum Platform. Register for the Forum and see all that is happening. There are over 700 events hosted on the Forum. JCoR and UNANIMA have virtual booths as does Coalition Against Prostitution (CAP)
The Calendar for Good Shepherd Events is posted in the Booth but can can access it HERE to join in regional activities directly
Good Shepherd CSW 66 Parallel Event will take place on Wednesday March 16 at 8.00 am EST. Registration for the event is a must if you wish to attend. You can register directly from HERE The event will be on a zoom platform and English, French Spanish and Portuguese interpretation will be provided. We will have an engaging discussion on ‘Empowering Women at the Grassroots through Sustainable Agriculture‘ with panelist from the Good Shepherd International Foundation, India, Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines and Brazil. REGISTER HERE. We are honoured to have the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, Republic of Korea co-sponsoring this event with us. We are thrilled to have a girl climate activist from India. Well done Jasmine!
Jasmine, the girl activist from India will also feature on another panel on March 17 at 4.00 p.m. EST. The panel is an all girls’ panel – not to be missed – and the title is “My Voice Our Equal Future” Girls speak to Climate Change. Interpretation will be provided in French and Spanish and registration is essential – REGISTER HERE
All the usual processes for CSW 66 are taking place as the horrors of the war in Ukraine are unfolding before our eyes – the invasion of a country, the total disregard for life – for any life and every life accompanied with the destruction and devastation of Ukraine’s infrastructure generating millions of refugees. The response to this humanitarian crisis with its emotional, traumatic, economic and devastating toll on the peoples of Ukraine witnesses to the power of sharing, concern and humanity. It was indeed inspiring to hear the Ambassador of Poland speak of themselves as a ‘superpower of solidarity.’ In the face of such catastrophe the United Nations is held captive and the spirit that created the United Nations is being challenged by the same power that has invaded Ukraine. Quoting the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations
“WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
AND FOR THESE ENDS
to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,
HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS.”
Over the last few years I have witnessed the demise of a spirit of multilateralism at the United Nations and the stubborn persistence of patriarchal structures and systems that reinforce power and privilege over peoples, nations, women and the exigences of climate change. The Secretary General of the United Nations has referred to a recent report from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” showing nearly half of humanity “living in the danger zone” and many ecosystems at the point of no return—right now. “With fact upon fact, this report reveals how people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change.” Read More. The world community continues to struggle to access vaccines to counter COVID 19. There are multiple other conflicts throughout the world oppressing people’s voices and freedom condemning people to poverty, creating an never ending line of refugees. Girls and women are often targeted in conflict situations – sexual assault, rape and vulnerability to human traffickers offering opportunities for better life and a job snaring these same girls and women into a system and structure of gender based violence within prostitution.
Today, International’s Women’s Day with the theme of ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorow‘ is at the heart of CSW 66 ‘Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.’ We have our Position Paper on Ecological Justice. On page 14, Paragraph 5 “We admit our complicity in perpetuating dualistic and domineering attitudes about the earth. We understand that reconciliation with our earth calls for a new consciousness, a new identity, and new behaviors centered on the kinship of all creation and the implementation of human rights for all. Interdependence demands inclusion of all – non-living and living, non-human and human – without discrimination.” Our Congregational Chapter 2021 Direction Statement references our commitment to the ‘Laudato Si Goals’ Response to the Cry of the Earth, Response to the Cry of the Poor, Ecological Economics, Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles, Ecological Education, Ecological Spirituality, Community Resilience and Empowerment. Read more and in multiple languages The Laudato Si Goals parallel very closely the United Nations Framework for Sustainable Development – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with SDG 5 one Gender Equality at the heart of transformation and sustainability.
Happy International Women’s Day and Welcome to CSW 66.
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It is being held in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the co-presidency of the United Kingdom and Italy. The president of the Conference is Alok Sharma and Minister of State at the Cabinet Office since 2021. COP26 is seen as the most important international climate meeting since 2015, when the world adopted the Paris Agreement to hold global warming to below 1.5°C at best and well below 2°C at the worst. Veronica Brand, a Sister of the Sacred Heart of Mary at the UN is quoted as saying “COP 26 needs to be an inflection point in terms of care of our common home” Read more “Catholic groups outline priorities ahead of Glasgow COP26 climate change summit: from NCR October 22, 2021. See also 5 reasons why Catholics should care about the COP26 climate summit from October 15, 2021. Reason #3 Catholic social teaching is on the table, especially for people living in poverty. Veronica continues “name a principle of Catholic social teaching — from the dignity of every person, to solidarity and workers’ rights — and you will find it relates to the discussions at COP26. With the impact of climate change, we are talking about action on behalf of justice. … We are talking about lives being threatened. We’re talking about livelihoods and the dignity of those who are most marginalized.”
Our position paper on Intergal Ecology calls to be be activety engaged in processess like COP 26. How are you engaging at a personal, community, country level. Have you supported statements calling for action? Are you engaging in social media – Twitter, Facebook or Instgram? Do you plan to find updates from the conference on a daily basis? Every point listed below is applicable to COP 26.
This is the link to the Conference Website which has lots of information.
Earlier in October of this year the Vatican had a meeting entitles ‘Religion and Science towards COP 26. The video contains a reading the agreed document and you can read more HERE
So much of what is put forth echoes deeply with our position paper and I include the action point from the paper on Economic Justice for your consideration also.
Leading on from this I want to bring your attention to a ‘Feminist Agenda for People and Planet.’ The Feminist Economic Justice for People & Planet Action Nexus is led by four key partners—who also serve as co-leads for two of the Action Coalitions on economic justice and on climate justice:. The document brings together Economic Justice and Climate Jusitice, focusing on two of the action coalitions coming from Beijing+25 and Generation Equality Forum. The Agenda lays out 6 principles
(i) An economy that shifts from the disproportionate emphasis on being productive economy into a feminist decolonial green new economy (ii) An economy that puts the primacy of human rights and well-being of the planet over the primacy of growth and GDP (iii) An economy that promotes an equitable and just global trade order (iv) An economy that redistributes wealth and resources (v) An economy that promotes debt justice and a new structure of sovereign debt (vi) A global economic governance architecture that is democratic
The document can be accessed HERE I invite you to comment in the Comments Box linking what you are reading here with what you are hearing about COP 26 from your country perspctive, in social media and other outlets. When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was launched in August 2021, the Secretary General of the United Nations said it was a ‘code red for humanity. The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse‑gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk. Global warming is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible. … If we combine forces now, we can avert climatecatastrophe. But, as today’s report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses. I count on Government leaders and all stakeholders to ensure COP26 is a success.’ READ MORE Will your Government work to ensure that COP26 is a success? Reporting from the BBC may give you insights into why Conferences might not be as effective as we would want – indicating that contrary forces are at work!
The 2021 theme for the Season of Creation is ‘A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God.’ A celebration guide has been prepared by the eccumencial steering committee in 6 lnguages including French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian It is accessible ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH, PORTUGUESE, and ITALIAN. While the guide is a rich resource covering prayer opportunities and actions there are some advocacy points on page 17 that maybe of interest to you. There is refererence to COP 15 October 11 – 24 Convention on Boidiversity where the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will be negotiated in light of the global community failing to reach the Aichi targets on biodiversity management set ten years ago. The second meeting from 1-12 November 2021 is COP26 on climate change where new national commitments to tackle the climate crises under the Paris Agreement are due to be delivered.
The Ecumenical Prayer Service for the Season of Creation is pages 25 – 32 followed by an Earth Examen – Rich resources for every and communities to use. Pages 37 to the end is a themed lectionary for the Sundays within the season of creation. Below is the logo featuring Abraham’s tent which symbolizes “a home for all.”
“Sowing Hope for the Planet” is a project in which every Sister whose congregation is a member of UISG, and their connections are provided with an opportunity to make a difference in our care of the planet. This project is a collaborative effort of the JPIC Commission in the name of UISG and theGlobal Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). During this webinar Winifred Doherty presented the “Integral Egcology’ Position Paper of the congregation. French and Spanish. Starts at 1:15:44
The Laudato Si Movement promoting “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” petition is inviting you to tell world leaders how they should care for our common home later this year. The two COP Conferences (Conferences of the Parties), are COP 15 on biodiversity and COP 26 on climate change.
Our postion paper on “Integral Ecology’ calls on us to engage on all levels and to advocate locally and internationally, to study and apply documents such as Laudato Si, and the The Earth Charter, and to admit our complicity in perpetuating dualistic and domineering attitudes about the earth. We understand that reconciliation with our earth calls for a new consciousness, a new identity, and new behaviors centered on the kinship of all creation and the implementation of human rights for all. Interdependence demands inclusion of all – non-living and living, non-human and human – without discrimination.
Want to learn more about the UN Biodiversity Conference. The 5th Global Diversity Outlook report was recently published and available in multiple languages HERE. This Outlook draws on the lessons learned during the first two decades of this century to clarify the transitions needed if we are to realize the vision agreed by world governments for 2050, ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’. SDG 15 has a target of halting the lost of biodiversity and integrating biodiversity values into national and local planning (15.5 and 15.9)
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.
Don’t forget to link it with Laudato Si and the following from our Congregational Chapter Direction Statement: To recognize our interconnectedness with the whole of creation which obliges us “to protect our common home.”
Following two weeks of negotiations during the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, the 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement on 12 December 2015 (full text available here).
The Paris Agreement’s main aim is “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels” (binding), and countries further agreed “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.” (Article 2) The Agreement also includes the pledges to cut emissions and set the long-term goal to get off fossil fuels (although there is no clear timeline). Furthermore, the Agreement creates a 5-year Review Mechanism for countries to review their emissions reduction targets and set new, more ambitious cuts. However, there is no accountability mechanism for countries’ failure to comply to the Agreement.
Combating climate change and its impacts, which has important linkages with gender equality and human rights, is included in the SDGs (Goal 13). Unfortunately, despite strong efforts from women’s rights advocates, references to women’s and human rights were moved to non-binding parts in the final draft of the Paris Agreement. The weak references to gender include the following:
“Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights . . . as well as gender equality, empowerment of women,” (Introduction)
“Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems,”(Article 7)
“Capacity-building . . . should be an effective, iterative process that is participatory, cross-cutting and gender-responsive,” (Article 11)
Gender balance in the Committee established in the document to facilitate implementation and promote compliance (Article 15; see also paragraph 103 of decision)
Please see further articles and resources on COP21 and women working in climate justice:
Sister Yolanda Sanchez is currently in Paris, attending the COP21 climate change conference. Here’s her update from the first week of the conference, along with lots of pictures. Many thanks to Yolanda for representing us all in Paris!
Hermana Yolanda Sánchez se encuentra actualmente en París, asistiendo a la conferencia delcambio climático COP21 . Aquí está su reporte desde la primera semana de la conferencia, junto con algunas fotos. ¡Muchas gracias a Yolanda por representarnos todos en París!
Sœur Yolanda Sanchez est actuellement à Paris, assister à la conférence sur le changementclimatique COP21. Voici son rapport à partir de la première semaine de la conférence, ainsi que quelques photos. Un grand merci à Yolanda pour nous représenter à Paris!
This is very important, but even more important to me because I am participating in the space called “Climate Generations” (this place gives civil society, NGOs and other participant a space to bring an alternative voice to this Summit). From this it is clear to see that there are many people with a deep commitment to climate change and to changing present paradigms regarding this.
What I lived in this first week of the COP 21? I have signed petitions, I have heard about good practices and alternative initiatives being carried out not only in the developing countries but also in developed countries to reduce the impact of climate change in large and small cities; I have shared with many people who have come from all over the planet -young, less young, religious, people of all confessions- all animated with the desire to share experiences, express a concern in front of the indifference of Governments with regard to climate change and its consequences. Brothers and sisters of indigenous people have also brought their voices and concerns for the destruction of the land that they have inhabited for many centuries.
I have also participated in prayer initiatives carried out, among them the Ecumenical prayer at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. With joy I see that churches have undertaken this COP 21 to also assume the challenges on climate change and its consequences, assuming the responsibility of taking care of “our common home”.
What I have perceived in this atmosphere of COP 21?
On the one hand there is a serious commitment of many people who have become aware that must not only speak of climate change but also a change of system, of paradigms, of ways to consume, and of behaviors. Development must never mean destruction of nature and its resources.
Secondly, I see that the language of human rights appears in the text being discussed. It refers to respect, protection and promotion of human rights for everyone in all of the actions proposed for tackling climate change.
And what is coming after the COP 21? Although this Summit is a turning point and an opportunity to make concrete commitments this is only a part of the solution. Many communities on the planet are still being threatened by the increase in the sea level, deforestation, natural disasters, and pollution of water sources, and there are whole communities in a situation of great vulnerability who will be forced to migrate. Many multinational companies are responsible for the current crisis in which these peoples are living.
A serious and determined will by individual Governments at national level, with or without international agreement is needed to deal with all these situations in which real people are living. Someone said “we cannot wait to have an international agreement to start acting now and take action at the national level”.
Personally, I think that it is also time to engage much more in advocacy work, lobbying, pushing government policies at nationally and internationally level responding to the needs of the people. In this first week of COP 21 I met many sisters and brothers who are already actively engaged in this.
Finally I invite you to meditate, to deepen, and put into practice the teachings that Pope Francis brings us in the wonderful encyclical Laudato SI , it is a source of inspiration and guidance for all peoples of the planet. He invites us to act and to participate in the care of creation, accepting the challenge that he makes us in Chapter 6, number 203 and so on: Towards a new lifestyle – at all levels.