Spirits were high last month when We Have Faith (WHF) Campaign members met in Maputo, Mozambique on their third capacity building conference for 2013. There was a good mixture of youth, men and women from Southern and East Africa who were excited to be working together.
Aside from slogans, they finalised and adopted the campaign strategy and also developed a powerful policy statement to be used when engaging with our countries.
In their – statement – they call on nations of the world to take immediate action by radically reducing carbon emissions to restore the health of the planet and to prevent runaway climate change.
This needs to be addressed with a greater sense of urgency than it has been to date, especially given the financial crisis. That is, in order to help secure our future well, they ask the UNFCCC at COP19 to set as the international goal the keeping of average global temperature increases below 1.50C.
WHF are deeply concerned about the state of unreality being shown by most countries of the world. The vast majority of scientists, 98.5%, acknowledge that climate change is human induced. If we continue with ‘business as usual’, escalating the emission of greenhouse gases, we face a perilous and chaotic future.
We cannot fool the natural environment. Let political leaders, business, industry and mining acknowledge the reality of climate change and the perilous position human and all life on this planet is facing, and place the well-being of people and the planet before financial gain. Finance must be used to serve people and the health of the planet, not vice-versa.
Although it is argued that temperature rise is inevitable, WHF does not believe an average temperature increase of 20 C is acceptable. All countries must take meaningful and appropriate mitigation actions based on the rules of the convention, respecting the principles of equity, CBDR-RC and mitigation ambition should be agreed based on science and the 2013-2015 review outcomes and the agreed concept of equity.
Eco-justice and climate change are not peculiar to southern Africa but are global phenomena commanding increasing international attention. Faith communities in southern Africa cannot afford to act in isolation from the rest of the world.
SAFCEI’s participation in the collaborative We Have Faith campaign and global events such as the UNFCCC Conference of Parties, Rio +20 and other global incentives is therefore significant in developing solidarity of action among major faith groups worldwide and achieving significant global changes with respect to eco-justice and climate change.