COP17/Durban, FSPC: Climate justice remains the goal

Climate justice means defending the rights of those suffering from the effects of climate change, explained FSPC President Gottfried Locher with a view to the COP17 Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa. The FSPC had addressed the ethical criteria involved in its study on “Energy Ethics” in 2008.

The climate is changing. In 2010, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere was higher than ever before. And the annual increase was greater than ever before. According to the latest study of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), those who have contributed the least to climate change will suffer with increasing frequency from heat waves, rain deluges, landslides, and coastal flooding.

Before the Copenhagen Climate Conference of 2009, the cantonal churches of Switzerland called for a 40% reduction of greenhouse gases within Switzerland from 1990 to 2020. The churches also called for Switzerland to contribute the same amount to carbon reduction and environmental adaptation measures abroad. The FSPC has now reasserted its position, a few days before the beginning of the COP17 Conference in Durban.

In the words of FSPC President Gottfried Locher: “Climate justice means defending the rights of those suffering from the effects of climate change. We are and remain responsible for the effects of our climate policy both here and around the world.” In its 2008 study on “Energy Ethics”, the FSPC spoke out on the use of political measures. In this vein, the FSPC welcomes the willingness of a parliamentary majority for a 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Switzerland itself. The FSPC supports Switzerland’s efforts toward binding international agreements following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol next year.

Adaptation to climate change cannot replace efforts to limit climate change. Both involve ways of bringing about fairer and more sustainable social development. Climate justice remains a continuing goal, and the FSPC calls upon the Swiss delegation to the Durban Conference to act in accordance with this goal.

» Download or order the study on “Energy Ethics”