The year 2009 was a year of intense activity on climate change in the run-up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen in December. Hopes were high for a binding deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase financial and technological aid for poor countries.
Caritas Internationalis joined its Catholic sister network CIDSE in the “Grow Climate Justice” campaign. Supporters were asked to send postcards to their governments and sign an online petition calling for a just deal for the poor.
There were a series of important meetings throughout 2009 leading up to Copenhagen. Caritas representatives attended UN talks in Bonn, NewYork, Bangkok and Barcelona to persuade governments to agree a just deal.
At UN talks in Bonn, a report on the importance of low-tech climate change adaptation measures was launched. At the same time, a Caritas meeting in Malawi was discussing how best to prepare for the impact of climate change. Staff from Asia, Africa and Latin America were able to address the Bonn talks via a live web link.
In September, the Grow Climate Justice campaign brought a high-level delegation of bishops and climate experts to the UN in NewYork to meet world leaders. Cardinal Keith O’Brien from Scotland said during the visit, “Wealthy countries have an unequivocal moral duty to help developing countries who are already suffering the consequences of our profligate use of fossil fuels.”