U. N. Durban Climate Conference

By Paul Wyman – Environmental Justice Intern
December 16, 2011

From late November to early December, global leaders met in Durban, South Africa to address the issue of Climate Change. Locating the summit in Africa was a significant choice, as the continent has been especially affected by climate change. Africa has seen conflict, political instability, food insecurity, and high levels of impoverishment, which have been compounded by climate change. With the backdrop of problems created by climate change in Africa, discussions extended to effects throughout the world.

By the time this newsletter is circulated, the climate conference will have concluded. At this writing we do not know the results of the summit. Much of the debate that occurred during the preceding climate conferences concerned who should be held more responsible to pay for global efforts to curb climate change and its effects.  And while developed countries, such as the United States, have historically contributed the most to climate change, newly developed countries, such as China, are playing a larger role in contributing to climate change. These discussions continued at the current conference, with China contributing more to the negotiations.

It is our hope that some bold steps have been taken by the global community. Three steps we hope for include: a stop to the rise in global temperatures, additional new funding to help communities adapt to climate change, and support for an accountable and reliable Green Climate Fund without outside influence.Top of Form The United States and the world as a whole must show its support for innovative mechanisms to generate public funding to help the world’s poor and vulnerable confront climate change.

As we seek to protect God’s creation, we hope and pray that the world leaders at the Durban climate summit centered their debate on valuing life and not on short term economics. The climate conference represented a significant prospect to stand with the worlds’ poor and vulnerable, while at the same time taking bold steps to deal with the climate crisis and protecting God’s creation.

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