Heads of state need to show moral leadership, Catholic development agencies say
16 December 2009
Copenhagen – CIDSE and Caritas Internationalis, the world's largest development alliance, urge Heads of State arriving at the climate conference today to get the talks back on track and agree an ambitious and binding deal that is fair for the world’s poorest.
Caritas staff from around the world on the march for climate justice in Copenhagen.
The Danish Summit Chief, Connie Hedegaard was replaced by the Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen on Wednesday. This marks the upping of the political stakes as Heads of State prepare to thrash out core issues, as well as the lack of progress made so far. Talks went on late into the night on Tuesday with little results, leaving much work to be done by Heads of State in the final two days of the talks.
“We must be clear what is causing the current deadlock; developed country commitments on emission reductions and support to developing countries fall far short of what science and justice requires. Developed countries hold the historical responsibility for climate change, which is impacting profoundly already on developing countries. They simply cannot shirk their responsibilities,” said CIDSE Secretary General Bernd Nilles.
“Heads of State must feel the weight of the public and moral outpouring over the last months and during this last week in Copenhagen and around the world. The people are ready, we need our leaders to move,” he added.
Stephen Mutiso from Kenya, working for CIDSE member Trocaire/Caritas Ireland, commented on the stalled negotiations: “Attempts to portray this as a North South issue, or that developing countries are blocking, are misconstrued and deeply misguided. This is a question of the safeguarding of the future of the human family, we are all one, and we have a moral responsibility to protect the most vulnerable amongst us,” he said.
In a message for the World Day of Peace on January the 1st, sent to heads of state in time for the climate talks, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the responsibility of developed countries for climate change.
In his statement he said that it is ‘all too evident that large numbers of people in different countries and areas of our planet are experiencing increased hardship because of the negligence or refusal of many others to exercise responsible stewardship over the environment.’
Contact the CIDSE-Caritas delegation in Copenhagen:
Roeland Scholtalbers, email@example.com, +4530287853