Caritas Zambia statement on climate change conference
CARITAS ZAMBIA PRESS STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE CONCLUSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF PARTIES (COP24) ON CLIMATE CHANGE HELD IN KATOWICE, POLAND FROM 3RD TO 14TH DECEMBER, 2018
Caritas Zambia participated in the just ended Conference of Parties (COP24) on Climate Change which brought around 200 countries all over the world together. The main objective of the conference was to arrive at decisions necessary to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement through the designing of instruments that will enable countries achieve climate change goals.
APPRECIATES the decision made by the conference to adopt a set of guidelines and work programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This, we believe, will provide countries with strong basis to start implementing the Agreement through the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The adoption of the Talanoa Dialogue, as a new methodology and indigenous style of bringing together different actors for a more open dialogue on climate change problems and solutions. However, the outcomes and how they can lead to change anything for the poorest on the ground was unclear. Caritas hopes that this spirit can be improved in the 2019 UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit. Further, we appreciate the fact that state parties recognise the importance of establishing rules on transparency for future climate finance in 2023. This can provide space for improved commitments that will ensure front line communities are at the centre of every decision.
WELCOMES; The operationalization of the Local Communities and Indigenous Platform, hoping that it will pave the way for genuine participation and effectively ensure that the experience and wisdom of traditional communities worldwide will inform global decisions on climate change issues.
CONCERNED; that COP24 failed to deliver climate justice to the most vulnerable people in the world. The lack of focus on loss and damage of the environment leaves people living in poverty even more vulnerable. The negotiations in Poland lacked the ambition and cooperation needed to agree on crucial measures to avert catastrophic effects of climate change. The international rulebook was done but doesn’t conclusively include necessary rules, tools or finance to actually stop the momentum of the changing climate.
Climate finance needed a much more ambitious push to move the world and countries beyond the commitments that have already been made and to help meet the goal of capping global temperature rise at 1.5C. “Rich countries have a moral and a legal responsibility to provide money and technology to developing countries to make their economies greener and tackle the impacts of climate change. Instead of taking this seriously, they pushed through a rulebook riddled with loopholes allowing them to avoid this responsibility.
The poor and vulnerable have their human rights constantly threatened by the effects of climate change. The Preamble of the Paris Agreement in particular reaffirms the rights of indigenous peoples, food security, just transition, public participation and access to information, ecosystem integrity, protection of biodiversity and intergenerational equity. Caritas Zambia is deeply saddened that the COP24 final decisions did not reflect these essential elements in the protection of human rights affected by climate change. It is extremely worrying that state Parties were still debating about such fundamental principles that were supposed to be held as key for every state.
The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report issued earlier this year warns the world of the likely disastrous effects of global temperature rise at different points, clearly demonstrating that increased ambition is required to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5C. Despite this warning and the fact that we have just 12 years left to keep global temperatures at a safe level, parties failed to create a rulebook that lives up to the promise of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
In the context of our country Zambia, we would like to urge the government to;
Revise and enhance its Nationally Determined Contributions before 2020 in line with its fair share. It is well known that current pledges will not be nearly enough to limit warming to 1.5°C hence to contribute to the achievement of the visions and the goals of the Paris Agreement, Zambia must commit to greater levels of action against climate change and ensuring that the poor and vulnerable communities are at the center of every action to be taken.
Actively address gender and human rights dimensions in the revision of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDSs) and the implementation of both mitigation and adaptation measures.
Implement policies that protect the environment. The government should also strive to harmonise all policies that govern all natural resources protection
Adopt the Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) as a National wide programme to recover our lost indigenous tress. This will contribute to CO2 capture from the atmosphere that cause global warming.
In view of the above, Caritas Zambia calls on faith based groups in Zambia, civil society organisations and all none governmental organisations to increase their ambition to combat climate change, and to keep the needs of the most vulnerable at the forefront of all actions. In this situation, where Climate Change finance is of national concern, Caritas Zambia commends the national commitments to date and notes that it is important not to lose hope and but to continue the struggle for climate justice, for all people and for the planet. Together we can still reverse the course the environment has been forced to take, and we can do it for all the glory of God the creator of our universe.
Given to the Press on 18th December, 2019
Livelihoods and Climate Change Programme