Climate Report Highlights Need for Rapid Action
The IPCC’s latest report on climate science only confirms with greater certainty and immediacy the need for rapid action to cut greenhouse gas emissions and prioritise the poor and future generations in adapting to an uncertain climatic future, says Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.
“Oceania peoples on the frontlines of climate change have seen significant impacts of climate change and other environmental losses since before the turn of the century,” says Caritas Director Julianne Hickey. “Eroded shorelines, salination of soil and water, and destruction of food crops, livelihoods and shelter through increasingly severe extreme weather events. We have documented those impacts in often overlooked communities through our Oceania environment reports since 2014.
“We know climate change is hitting the poor the hardest. We know climate finance is not reaching some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities in Oceania. And we know they are often left out of key decisions being made on adaptation and mitigation.”
Recent extreme weather events affecting our country - and power blackouts this week - are a further reminder that we need to address our energy sources as well as supply and demand issues. Humanity must exercise careful stewardship of earth’s resources for the benefit of all.
“We cannot tackle the climate crisis solely through new technology and spending money,” says Mrs Hickey. “We need to address intertwined social, economic and environmental issues together. Reduction of greenhouse gases and real climate justice can’t be at further cost to the earth, the poor or future generations.”
The Caritas network and other Catholic civil society actors will be present at critical United Nations conferences later this year on biodiversity and climate. They will be calling for strong action to protect and restore the environment for future generations, and ensure the poor of today are not left out.
“We need an integrated approach that recognises the good things of the earth, and the products we derive from nature, are to be shared fairly and equitably. We need to ensure all people can lead healthy, sustainable lives with dignity, and connected to their respective cultures and communities. We are one human family, sharing a common home.”
For more information, please contact Roger Ellis, Engagement Manager, Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand. Ph: 021 526 264.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development, and incorporates Catholic Volunteers Overseas. We are working for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief. Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.