Caritas Plans Climate Change Campaign

Prepares to Bring Lobbyists to Copenhagen

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 1, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Caritas is joining with other humanitarian organizations to bring bishops and representatives from 25 countries to Copenhagen, Denmark, for an upcoming U.N. meeting on climate change.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet Monday to begin a two-week conference in Copenhagen.

In a press release today, Caritas reported that it plans to send representatives to “urge world leaders for climate justice,” and campaign for a new deal “that puts the needs of the poor first.”

The aid agency is working with CIDSE, which represents some 180 Catholic agencies, to bring representatives from: Mexico, Zambia, South Africa, North America, the Pacific Islands, Mozambique, Kenya and Europe.

Lesley-Anne Knight, secretary-general of Caritas, who will be present in Copenhagen, stated, “World leaders must agree to legally binding commitments to cutting greenhouse gases and to paying for the damage that climate change is having on poor communities.”

She continued: “They must set a new vision with a shared responsibility to the Earth.

“We must all live more sustainable less excessive consumerist lifestyles. This will be painful, but not as painful as doing nothing.”

“The outcome of Copenhagen must be part of a new global ethic that reconnects us to nature,” Knight said, “otherwise it will have failed.”

The network of aid organizations is calling for a “fair, effective and binding agreement” that is “legally binding and enforceable.”

This agreement, the Caritas communiqué asserted, should include the commitment of developed countries to some $198 billion “additional public financing per year by 2020” to “support developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to develop sustainably.”

It also called for an agreement including a commitment to keep global warming and emissions down.

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ZENIT Staff

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