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A Pan African Call to a Conversation on Pope Francis Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’
Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si is a worldwide wake up call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man. Although the document directly addresses itself to issues of the environment, its scope is broader in many ways as delves into many philosophical, theological, and cultural causes that threaten the relationships of man to nature as well as man to his fellow man, in many ways.
This document is unique in many ways. Like Pope Saint John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris, it departs from previous Papal documents as it is not only addressed to Catholic faithful but all people of good. In fact, the Pope states clearly this intention from the onset: “In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (#3).
In his encyclical “Be Praised” (Laudato Si) the Pope Francis cited a ninth century mystical Muslim poet Ali-al-Khawas while emphasizing the presence of God in this world. Pope wrote that a ‘mystical meaning’ should be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dew drop, in a poor person’s face. (Pope Francis’ words remind me of Gerard Manley Hopkins … the world is charged with the grandeur of God …).
europeinfos #182 - May 2015
Concrete initiatives launched by Christian organisations during COP21 in Paris in December 2015 to encourage leaders to insure firm commitments against climate change.
CIDSE is an international alliance of 17 Catholic development organisations working together for global justice. Caritas Internationalis is a network comprising 165 organisations. It works for a world of peace, solidarity and justice. It provides help to victims of war, natural disaster and poverty and to migrants. CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis together published in November 2014 the declaration: "Catholic international organisations facing up to climate change". It is a powerful call for action to governments and international organisations to react quickly and in an effective way to face the challenges of climate change.
europeinfos #181 - April 2015
The impact of climate change will become more intense and its effects will be irreversible. We will have to adapt to new physical and climatic conditions.
This article is the third in a series of monthly pieces that aims to prepare our readers for COP21, the UN Conference on Climate Change that will take place in Paris in November 2015. This time we will focus on adaptation, previously it was on mitigation, as the second main stream of the actions for addressing climate change.
europeinfos #181 - April 2015
Like Nero, fiddling while Rome burned, most politicians pressed the continue-as-before button.
The issue of climate change is rarely far from the headlines. The COP21 in Paris in early December is focusing minds in 2015, but perhaps what keeps the matter on the boil continually is the gut feeling most people have that urgent steps are necessary, while few are willing to take concrete action themselves.
EuropeInfos. #180 - March 2015. The monthly Newsletter of the COMECE and the JESC.
In 2013 the European Environment Agency (EEA) announced that Europe had already reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 19% with reference to the 1990 level, but this reduction is largely as a result of the economic crisis.
europeinfos #179 - February 2015
Europeinfos is starting a series of articles to better understand the issues in relation to COP21 and the current and future challenges that climate change presents for Europe.
Europeinfos : #178- janvier 2015
The agenda for the climate change discussions is taking shape in the midst of important developments. The next COP 21 will be a crucial moment for courageous political decisions.
The UNESCO Climate Change Initiative, launched by the Director-General in Copenhaguen, federates UNESCO’s work and joins it with that of other UN bodies and aims to help Member States to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to educate for sustainable development in the context of climate change, to assess the risks of natural disasters due to climate change, and to monitor the effects of climate change on UNESCO Sites (e.g. World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves). The initiative uses these sites for promoting low carbon economies, for instance through the sustainable use of renewable energy sources.
COMECE - europeinfos #176 - November 2014
Energy efficiency is one of the pillars of the climate change policy. The last European Council has proposed a very ambitious 27% increase in efficiency beyond previous expectations.
This document reflects the opinions of the members of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development in Vienna on the most pressing challenges the world is facing. The nexus between urgent issues to be solved and suggestions for strategies to secure progress towards achieving the objectives are briefly touched upon. Those objectives need to be defined in terms of concrete targets in the new sustainable development goals (SDGs). For the most important strategic fields, targets should be set that take into account their potential for realisation, and the social multiplier effects should be identified. Over the long term education is considered to be key to achieving a better world. All the other important strategies hinge critically on the ability and willingness of the international community to introduce the necessary reforms; this implies designing and implementing intelligent measures. Every effort will have to be made to overcome numerous obstacles and address many challenges. The strategies to be followed are interlinked and their mutual influences have to be taken into account before designing concrete measures in order to avoid possible counter-productive effects. Among the most important strategies are institutional and legal reforms, technical and social innovation, the introduction of effective incentive systems and the protection and enhancement of our common resource base so as to secure fair access for all. Basic tenet: The primary objective is the attainment of human rights and a better life for all, with sustainable development as the strategic means for achieving that goal.
New York no longer has a choice: it will either drown or must redesign itself. In response to the passage of Hurricane Irene and Sandy in 2011 and 2012, public authorities must prepare city-dwellers for the effects of upcoming climate disturbance and especially the rise of sea levels. They have to face the need to slow down the intrusion of seawater and fend off flooding facilitated by the grid pattern of streets. After having purchased wetlands to secure drinking water, the city now seeks to adapt itself by natural means to the impacts of Climate Change. Intense efforts now link decision makers, urban planners, architects, naturalists, and associations in order to ameliorate the city’s resilience while improving quality of life and rebuilding social cohesion.
Religious institutions need to find their voice and set their moral compass on one of the great humanitarian issues of our time
Saving the Earth and its peoples from dangerous climate change is an economic, social and environmental issue – and a moral and ethical one too that goes to the core of many if not all of the world’s great faiths.
Unchecked, the rise in greenhouse gas emissions is likely to visit ever higher high levels of suffering on the vulnerable, the marginalised and indeed people everywhere. The Himalayan country of Nepal, which I have just visited, is a case in point: here unstable lakes are forming from melting glaciers high in the mountains. Some have already burst their banks sending the equivalent of vertical tsunamis down valleys washing away power lines, homes and lives.
The World Bank’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on climate change, which will be launched this month on January 27, 2014. This course presents the most recent scientific evidence as well as some of the opportunities for urgent action on climate change. It also covers the latest knowledge and information based on cutting-edge research.
I fully understand the urgency but at the same time I am unable to produce a text.
As staff-member of COMECE I have been involved in the procedure around our statement on Climate Change, which is still valid. I enclose a copy and would like to draw your attention to the chapter on the ethical implications and to the conclusion. You are of course free to use but we would like to ask you to make a reference to our document if used.
I am really happy that ICMICA Pax Romana is involved in the discussion on Climate Change. In fact, since I left the secretariat of ICMICA, I have been working on this issue. I hope to be able to participate in the Assembly, though I am not yet sure. However, I will send you some documents from the perspective of UN Human Rights Mechanism, which should be complimentary to the discussion at the European level.
Demand for materials is so intense that between 20 and 30 % of the resources we use in Europe are now imported. With the boom in international trade, EU consumption and production damage ecosystems and human health far beyond Europe’s borders, according to a report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
In their recent declaration, indigenous peoples groups in Africa reaffirms the need for the Rio+20 to take a stronger human rights-based approach, where indigenous people's rights are fully recognized, respected and protected, and to ensure that culture and good governance are integrated in the three pillars of sustainable development
Climate change is the most serious environmental problem that the world faces today, having a major impact on the basic elements of human life. This will directly affect a range of fundamental rights: the right to life, suitable living conditions, safety, health, food and water. (...)