Maryknoll Missioners from across the Maryknoll family share some of their hopes for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.
I have witnessed dramatic changes in my 46 years in Nepal. Mountains that were covered with snow are now hidden by pollution. The once pure and clean air is causing disease. The loss of fertile land led farmers to work as tour guides and porters, but now major landslides disrupt the climbing season. The much-sought Himalayan waters are dramatically reduced due to less snowfall each, leaving millions without water. COP28 may be one of the final chances to take definitive steps to fix the existing climate crisis.
Fr. Joe Thaler, MM, Nepal
Reports have recently stated that the global community is on track to experience a temperature increase of between 2.4 C and 2.7 C by the end of this century and that in the United States fossil fuel use will continue to rise throughout this decade up to the year 2030. COP 28 must agree on abiding by strict targets to rapidly reduce greenhouse emissions from fossil fuel use and provide substantial money (now over $100 billion a year) to developing nations so that they can take steps to adapt to climate change as well as develop their own means of renewable forms of energy production.
Fr. Frank Breen, MM, New York
Living in Peru the effects of Climate change and environmental degradation are obvious. Our glaciers are melting at an increased rate, our Amazon is threatened with oil leaks, mining contamination, and ongoing deforestation. Droughts and flooding are imminent. My hope for COP 28 is a further awakening of the urgency and moral responsibility of each participant to commit to binding agreements that will hold back and even reverse the destructive path we are on. Enough of empty words.
Sr. Doreen Longres, MM, Peru
In East Africa, we have seen the direct effects of over consumption by richer nations on that of poorer ones. Whether it is over-fishing, mineral extraction, deforestation, or labor exploitation, the effects are obvious and often take the form of extreme poverty. Knowing that the most important element for combating the abuse of our planet is the will of powerful countries to work together, our hope for COP 28 is exactly that. PLEASE work together. We are ALL counting on you!
Kyle Johnson, Maryknoll Lay Missioner, Tanzania
From being on the Border, I have seen that one of the push factors of migration is climate change. Small farmers in Central America leave their land because they can no longer predict planting season, face droughts, and can lose their entire crop due to hurricanes and tropical storms that are out of the ordinary. I hope the COP28 can address this issue and allow farming communities to provide the much needed food resources for marginalized peoples.
Deborah Northern, Maryknoll Lay Missioner, US/Mexico Border, El Paso
I pray that the COP28 leaders will come together to commit all nations to real energy reductions and transitions, to keep global warming less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Guided by the Holy Spirit, I pray that the conferees in Dubai experience true fraternity and inspire us to love and care for God’s beautiful Creation.
Marilyn Kott, Maryknoll Affiliate, California
I hope this COP will focus on keeping dangerous global heating below 1.5 C and what it will take to accomplish that, particularly phasing out fossil fuels without delay (LS165). It’s our responsibility with any new large purchase and the responsibility of all leaders. People, farms, and all species are struggling with the heat increase and tumult thus far, with no relief in sight. Solutions exist but greed and continued fossil fuel investment have prevailed thus far.
Marie Venner, Maryknoll Affiliate, Colorodo
At COP 28 the nations who made their wealth from burning fossil fuels must step up to the plate and fulfill their climate finance commitments. The Loss and Damage Fund must become operational and truly responsive to the most vulnerable nations that have done little to contribute to climate change, yet have suffered its gravest consequences.
Lisa Sullivan, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns