The world has witnessed a breakthrough with the release of the proposed final text of the Paris Agreement at COP 21. All participating countries have acknowledged that climate change is a common concern of humankind requiring immediate action.
The Rev. Sally Bingham, IPL founder and president, said:
This is a historic moment. For the first time in human history, 196 have nations agreed that we are in a climate crisis and we can no longer delay action. The strong presence of civil society and the moral voice of faith traditions have been essential in pushing the negotiations forward.
From a justice perspective, the agreement’s recognition of the risk of “loss and damage” for climate vulnerable nations, and the need to address and minimize displacement related to the impacts of climate change, is an important step forward underscoring the need for developed nations like the United States to support those least responsible for causing this crisis.
The Paris COP is a moral call for a safe climate for our children and grandchildren and a critical step forward. There is much work to do to reach this goal, and U.S. faith communities will continue to advocate for stronger action from our government and financing for the most vulnerable.
The NC Council of Churches has a long history of work on behalf of care of creation based in our biblical call to respect God’s gift to us as well as the disproportionate affect of a warming climate on the most vulnerable among us. The stated goal of limiting warming to no more than 1.5 degrees is a signal that the world is ready to mobilize for climate solutions and to undertake a rapid transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Civil society and faith organizations played an important role at this conference, pushing for an ambitious and equitable agreement that lifts up human responsibility to protect creation and leaves no one behind.