Bishop’s calls to governments

Oliver Meth

2011-12-08, Issue 562

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/78565

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South African Bishop Geoff Davies has called on governments to end the era of ‘global apartheid’ which is dictating the UN climate change negotiations in Durban, South Africa.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday the Anglican minister urged decision makers to put the wellbeing of people before profit. Bishop Davies said: ‘Climate change is a moral issue and it must be met by the moral principles of justice, equity, compassion and love.

‘We need to put the wellbeing of the planet and people before self-interested, financial considerations. ‘We are being driven by almost evil forces that care just about profit.

‘Here we are on South African soil where apartheid was defeated. Yet we are seeing a global apartheid. Rich countries are keeping wealth and power for themselves.’

Negotiations on a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, the only international law limiting carbon emissions, remain in the balance. Decision makers are also working to follow through on promises made last year to set up the Green Climate Fund which would see funds made available to help the world’s most vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.

Bishop Davies, who is a partner in the We Have Faith ? Act Now for Climate Justice campaign, said it would be immoral to allow global warming to exceed 2 degrees celcius.

‘If temperatures go up to four or five degrees it will catastrophic,’ he said.

‘In Africa we are concerned. African temperatures will increase twice as much as the global average. ‘It is immoral for nationals to say we will continue to emit carbon until we hit two degrees.
‘We worship a creator God and we are in the process of destroying that creation.’

With ministers from around the world having arrived in Durban, this week marks the high level segment of the talks where politicians need to agree on emissions cuts and a financial package to protect poor countries which despite having the least responsibility for climate change are suffering it’s most destructive effects.