Bishops launch 'complete decarbonisation' appeal

  • 27/10/2015
Pope Francis joined by other Bishops (Reuters)
Pope Francis joined by other Bishops (Reuters)

Bishops have launched a global appeal for a break-through at upcoming Paris climate talks, including a "complete decarbonisation" of the world's economy and more help for poor countries battling the effects of climate change.

The bishops yesterday said any agreement "should limit global temperature increases to avoid catastrophic climatic impacts, especially on the most vulnerable communities".

From across five continents they called "not only for 'drastic reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide and other toxic gasses', but also for ending the fossil fuel era".

The goal should be "complete decarbonisation by mid-century, in order to protect frontline communities suffering from the impacts

of climate change, such as those in the Pacific Islands and in coastal regions".

The November 30-December 11 conference in Paris will be the culmination of six years of work since the ill-fated 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, which failed to lock down significant agreements.

The bishops urged those taking part to "keep in mind not only the technical but particularly the ethical and moral dimensions of climate change" as laid out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"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," they said in a statement.

Among the 10 key points climate negotiators were asked to address was the need "to ensure people's access to water and to land for climate resilient and sustainable food systems" - a nod to fears of a dark future of dwindling resources.

The aim of the Paris conference is to ink an agreement to limit global warming to 2C over pre-industrial revolution levels.

But five days of negotiations in Bonn last week underscored deep divisions, including disagreements over who should pay for renewable energy sources and who should be tasked with making sure countries uphold green pledges.