Thu, January 27, 2022

COP26 Part 2

An important part of the work of COP26 will be to monitor the progress which the participating nations have made in relation to the Paris Agreement.
What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change, which was adopted by 196 participants at COP 21 which took place in Paris in 2015. It came into force on 4 November 2016.
The goal of the Paris agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
The Paris Agreement is really important because it is the first legally binding agreement which brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. It is the first time that a universal agreement has been reached in the fight against climate change.
Has the Paris Agreement made a notable Difference?
The Paris Agreement has focused the minds of the 196 participating nations etc. More and more countries, regions, cities and companies are establishing carbon neutrality targets. Zero-carbon solutions are becoming competitive across economic sectors representing 25% of emissions. This trend is most noticeable in the power and transport sectors and has created many new business opportunities for early movers. It is hoped that by 2030, solutions will be found in other areas of carbon emissions so that there will be zero-carbon emissions in over 70% of global emissions.
Another important part of the Paris Agreement is the legally binding rules, which obliges the wealthier developed countries to provide developing countries with financial support to enable them to implement the agreement.
All the participating countries have made ambitious commitments to reduce their carbon emissions. Some of the least developed countries, including
Cape Verde, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Vanuatu have indicated that they want to move towards having 100% renewable energy within 15 years.
Disappointingly, the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement on 4 November 2020. However, one of the first acts of President Biden after his election was for the United States to officially re-enter the Paris Agreement on February 19th, 2021.
Reflection on Jeremiah 31: 31-34
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand?
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbour,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
The Paris Agreement is a form of a contract which commits each of the participants to honour the promises which they have made. In the Scriptures we have a number of contracts, known as Covenants which God has made with his people.
Spend a little time reflecting on the passage from Jeremiah. What are the similarities between the Covenant that God has made with his people, Israel? What are the differences?
What is your commitment to cut down carbon emissions which fuel global warming? What are the kind of things that we can all be doing?
Pope Francis From Laudato Sí
The Paris Agreement requires that the participants look beyond their own interests and look towards what is good for the planet and for all who inhabit it and will inhabit it. It is a step on the long journey towards overcoming the threat of global warming. It asks that we learn to cooperate and put to the side our own individual interests for the sake of all, that is for the common good.
Pope Francis writes:
208. We are always capable of going out of ourselves towards the other. Unless we do this, other creatures will not be recognized for their true worth; we are unconcerned about caring for things for the sake of others; we fail to set limits on ourselves in order to avoid the suffering of others or the deterioration of our surroundings. Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centeredness and self-absorption, are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. If we can overcome individualism, we will truly be able to develop a different lifestyle and bring about significant changes in society.

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