Final Impressions of COP 21

Television networks covering Saturday’s COP 21 meeting explained the lengthy delay in approving a final agreement  by stressing the difficulty in getting acceptance of the text of the document.  Network announcers referred to the process as “deal making”, and many times queried:  “Do we have a deal”? In this bargaining over the text, negotiators considered … Read more

Climate Change and Global Health

Lancet confirms that tackling climate change is the greatest opportunity for improving global health. A truly incredible message but not one that has general recognition with climate change “laggards” such as Canada and the United States.  The reason for this lack of recognition may be that most of these health improvements will flow to third world … Read more

Achieving a cleaner, more sustainable, and healthier future

Margaret Chan, the director of the World Health Organization, has delivered a powerful message: climate change causes serious health risks. She urges the health community to join the movement calling for a cleaner. more sustainable future. Ms Chan agreed with the recommendations of the Lancet commission and has promised WHO support for three specific recommendations. First, its … Read more

GHG’s are also directly harmful to human health!

Some common short-lived climate pollutants are black carbon, tropospheric ozone and methane. These substances are pollutants, which trap green house gases but also through their pollutant effect damage human health. Globally, 88% of the world’s population breathes air that does not meet the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines.  In 2014, WHO estimated 7 million … Read more

A World Public Health Crisis is coming!

The Lancet, the world’s oldest and best known Medical Review Journal,  published an executive summary of the report of its commission calling for emergency actions to tackle the climate health crisis.  The Lancet report was a unique European, Chinese collaborative effort involving experts in the fields of climate, social, political, and environmental science, geography, biodiversity and … Read more

Phasing Out Coal

In one country – the US – reducing GHG emissions requires replacing coal-fired generating plants.  In another – India – emissions will increase as many more such plants are built. At the September UN Summit in New York, the Indian Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar said his government is not planning to cut its greenhouse gas … Read more

The Link between Climate Change and Poverty

The continuing yearly meetings of the Conference of the Parties will re-convene this fall in Lima, Peru.  This Conference must show progress towards effective targets for GHG reduction and support for the Green Climate Fund.

This Fund is intended to assist those countries who do not have the resources or technological skills to institute measures to combat global warming.  4RG has consistently called for this assistance, as an aspect of a moral responsibility to less fortunate peoples. As we said in a previous blog:

The reasons for and the need for a Green Climate Fund should never be in doubt.   Pope Benedict and other world religious leaders have been clear on the moral justification for such a fund. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in a shared a video of support, said, “It’s no time for despair – but it’s certainly no time for complacency either. The moral crisis is as real as ever. And we need as never before real moral leadership from the international community. We need to know that governments will fulfill the pledges that have been given by the richer countries, to provide $100bn by 2020.”

There are other ways to assist developing countries in this combat.  Climate Action Network (CAN) follows the deliberations of a UN-sponsored NGO, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Solutions (OWG), which is currently working on the formulation of goals. CAN has pointed out that the link between climate change and poverty must be addressed in recommendations from this NGO.

Several countries are opposed to including climate change issues in these recommendations.  We can’t identify this countries but we have our suspicions.

So we have joined forces with many other organizations, both in Canada and abroad, to insist on the identification of climate change as a big factor in endemic poverty. Extracts from the submission letter to Co-chairs and members of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustained Development Goals (SDGs) follow

Read moreThe Link between Climate Change and Poverty