News / Africa

Putting Planet First in Climate Change Talks

People walk with a coffin as they protest against the usage of coal during a climate change conference at the city of Durban, South Africa, Thursday, Dec 1, 2011.  (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
People walk with a coffin as they protest against the usage of coal during a climate change conference at the city of Durban, South Africa, Thursday, Dec 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Joe DeCapua

At the U.N. climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, there’s a call to view the issue as a moral imperative. The man who’s called South Africa’s green bishop says caring for the earth should take priority.

"Climate change is a moral issue and it must be met by the moral principles of justice, equity, compassion, love. And that we’ve got to really realize, that we’ve got to put the wellbeing of the planet and people before our financial considerations,” said retired Anglican Bishop Geoff Davies, coordinator of the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute.

Worse on the continent

The United Nations reports no other continent will be struck by climate change as severely as Africa. The global forecast calls for a two degree Celsius rise in temperatures in the coming years. But the U.N. says they could rise higher in Africa – possibly three degrees Celsius or more by 2050. Dryer subtropical regions could warm more than wetter areas.

“We in Africa are particularly concerned because the scientists are now saying that African average temperatures will increase twice as much as the global average. Already our temperatures have gone up 0.8 and we know the huge disruption of climate change already,” said Davies.

Cut emissions now

He said if African temperatures do increase by twice the global average the effects will be “catastrophic.” He called on the world’s major polluters to take strong measures now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“For the United States to say, well, we’ll start reducing emissions in a few years’ time – that’s millions of tons of carbon that will still be poured into the atmosphere for the next 100 years. We can’t bring that carbon back here. But we equally challenge the new polluting countries – China, India, ourselves, South Africa,” he said.

On Tuesday, the U.S. envoy to the climate talks, Todd Stern, said one of the big issues is China’s position on a legally binding agreement. He said the United States would consider such an agreement if all major greenhouse gas-emitting countries are fairly subject to its conditions.

Bishop Davies said developed nations can help Africa overcome its dependency on fossil fuels.

“The developed world can assist the developing countries - and I speak particularly for Africa - can assist us with technical cooperation and financial support that is owed to Africa to enable us to leapfrog the dirty fossil fuel era into the new solar and renewable energy era,” he said.

Bishop Davies spoke on behalf of the Climate Action Network International, which represents over 700 organizations in 95 countries. Its members are monitoring the proceedings at the climate change conference.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid