The agreement reached late on the night of 10th December by the representatives of the 193 Parties to the Cancún Conference on Climate Change is a pleasing surprise, a breath of fresh air in the midst of the previous pessimism about debates on climate change. During the weeks previous to the conference, commentators were far from hopeful about the outcome.
Climate and development policy have reached an impasse. The international community’s political efforts are not even close to producing adequate responses to these momentous challenges. One important aspect is to bring together climate change mitigation and development policy.
This has prompted four different partners to join forces: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Institute for Social and Development Studies in Munich, Misereor – the German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation, and the Munich Re Foundation. Together, they released the report this year, Global aber Gerecht: Klimawandel bekämpfen, Entwicklung ermöglichen.
It does not often happen that an international top-level environment conference receives positive comments and a broad welcome, even from environmental organizations. The Convention on Biological Diversity’s 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) however, held in Nagoya from 18 to 29 October 2010, is generally considered a to be a decisive and even historic step towards an effective protection of biodiversity.
Within the group of friends who operate Come Sano Come Justo (Eat Healthy Eat Fair), a cooperative group in Valladolid, Spain, there is a shared realisation that in these modern times, there are many people who wonder what to do, how to act, how to intervene in our society to change for the better, if only a little.
The general trends of the worldwide ecosystem degradation are commonly well-known for long. Among the most recent studies however, two documentations released on the occasion of the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity 2010 deliver new and mostly alarming figures on the real extent of the world’s biodiversity losses. And for the first time ever, the economic and monetary values of Earth’s biological infrastructure and the manifold services it delivers for human welfare are taken into account within a comprehensive approach.
On October 15th a meeting was held at the Pontifical University of Comillas-Madrid by several members of UNIJES (Spanish Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education) under the theme of “Natural Resources and Sustainability”. This was a preliminary meeting in order to assess the possibilities to establish a permanent working group in the framework of UNIJES. After a certain time of informal conversations finally we moved forward in order to gather representatives from UNIJES institutions that are dealing with “sustainability” at different levels.
The Jesuit Research Center for Advocacy and Solidarity is a newly founded institution by the Korea Province of the Society of Jesus to provide technical assistance to Jesuit social apostolates in Korea and organizations and movements with which they form coalitions or networks.
A coalition of major international environment groups has called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a stronger stand on climate change in the upcoming climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.
The phenomenon is well known since long, but concrete numbers are rare: more and more people are forced to relocate permanently from their homes, due to environmental degradation and ecosystem losses.
Projections for 2050, released by the International Organization of Migration in 2008, range from 25 million to one billion people displaced by the consequences only of climate change. Their livelihoods are threatened in many ways: farmers lose arable land due to droughts and other extreme weather events whereas islands and coastal areas are affected by devastating storm tides. As a result, people migrate from environments which no longer guarantee food stability and which no longer are hospitable for human civilization.