COP28 campaign launched

November 6, 2023 in Featured News, News

Irish Jesuits and their colleagues across the world have moved into action to try and influence decisions made at COP28 (30 November -12 December 2023) and they want the public to support their work. The Irish Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, along with the Jesuit European Social Centre, (JESC) » Missions UK, Eco Jesuits, have just launched their COP28@Homecampaign » to advocate for more effective climate change decisions to emerge this November/December when COP28 takes place ».

The JCFJ, through JESC, is making a letter publicly available and urging the public here in Ireland to download and sign it » before forwarding it to their local TD or MEP. The letter was crafted by Pedro Walpole SJ and his EcoJesuit group with input from the JCFJ for distribution in other countries also. (Click here » to listen to Pedro Walpole SJ). They will also provide an information guide to COP28 on their website with regular updates on the progress of the conference once it starts. Click here to receive newsletter updates » published bi-weekly about different topics around the COP. This news will turn into a daily brief for the duration of the COP28 meeting.

The COP28 campaign organisers are also making available a wide variety of blog posts on various themes around integral ecology, posted by Jesuits and colleagues around the world. Click here » to access the JCFJ blog with further useful links. And you can harness the power of prayer and download a specially composed COP28 Prayer Guide » written by Xavier de Bénazé SJ and Fabian Moos SJ, which uses the daily themes of the COP as inspiration for meditation and provides community prayers for Sundays (starting 18 November) leading to the event.

Amongst other concerns, they are asking that COP28 ensures progress on ‘loss and damage’, makes food systems a priority, and prepares the transition for a better future. In 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that failure to make “substantial and sustained” reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would increase the likelihood of severe and irreversible impacts, and result in economic and non-economic loss and damage.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is an annual gathering of countries that are part of the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP 28 will bring together world leaders, policymakers, scientists, and civil society representatives to discuss and address pressing climate issues and the meetings should serve as a platform for negotiating and implementing international climate agreements.

Pope Francis in his latest communication on the care of the earth Laudate Deum » expresses the desire “That those taking part in the Conference be strategists capable of considering the common good and the future of their children, more than the short-term interests of certain countries or businesses.” Read a synopsis of Laudate Deum by Sunny Jacob SJ here »

Turning his attention to the various climate conferences held to date Francis concludes that international negotiations are not making significant progress, “due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good”.

Looking ahead to the forthcoming Dubai COP28 gathering he notes that, “To say that there is nothing to hope for would be suicidal, for it would mean exposing all humanity, especially the poorest, to the worst impacts of climate change.” But we cannot search merely for a technological solution to our problems or “we risk remaining trapped in the mindset of pasting and papering over cracks, while beneath the surface there is a continuing deterioration to which we continue to contribute.”