UN Climate Talks Flirt with a Flourishing World, But Fall Short of Landmark Commitment. 

The UN Climate Talks in Dubai close today having made a notable step towards a flourishing world, but not the giant leap towards climate justice that campaigners hoped for.

Tearfund Ambassador and Climate Scientist, Laura Young, said: 

The final outcome of the UN climate talks has shifted the dial though it falls short of the landmark energy agreement that would have hailed the end of the fossil fuel era. The result is a mixed bag of transitioning away from fossil fuels whilst opening the door to dangerous distractions and weakening of past commitments. We should applaud that countries have pledged to triple renewables and double energy efficiency by 2030, but unless coal, oil and gas are phased out at the same time, we’ll continue to fuel climate disaster.

Despite this mixed outcome, we’ve seen unprecedented support for the clean energy transition. The science is clear, the solutions exist and the momentum is growing. Leaders and negotiators also publicly recognised, with greater honesty and clarity than ever before, the vital need to end the fossil fuel era. The scales are starting to tip, but the hour is late. The longer we delay decisive action the greater the cost of our inaction will be for all of us and people living in poverty most of all.

No conference or organisation alone can deliver the full weight of climate justice. We need leaders who will step up to their responsibilities everyday and at every level – international, national and local – with courage and longer term thinking. Words and good intentions are not enough if repeated promises are not kept. The road to the flourishing world we all want to see is paved with hard work, accountability and justice.

Global Campaigner, Jessica Bwali, joins Laura in putting her hopes for the future closer to home:

Around the world, eight out of ten people belong to a faith community. So whether we choose to resist or respond to the climate crisis will change the course of history. As people of faith we need to wake up to our call to care for creation. We must compel our leaders to power progress, not poverty.

Words can be powerful in setting the trajectory, but they need to be matched by action to turn them into reality. Tearfund will be holding leaders to account on all that was promised and everything that was left undone at this year’s summit in Dubai.

Tearfund is inviting churches around the world to connect, speak out together and hold the powerful to account, and so transform the trajectory of this century. A series of related resources, including bible studies have been created to help Christians and churches explore how they can partner with God in his ongoing restoration story. 

“The road to climate justice is not a straight or easy one,” explains Julia Kendal, senior policy analyst and lead author of Tearfund’s Restorative revolution.“The climate crisis is part of the interconnected crises that we face on a global scale –  rising poverty, inequality, environmental destruction – but the church can be a powerful agent for change. Tearfund’s Restorative revolution is an invitation to see hundreds of thousands of churches acting in a global movement to transform wealth, power and communities for a flourishing world.”

Written by: Esther Trewinnard

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