Money a sticking point on tackling climate change

17 November 2017

Wind farm at sunset

Pope Francis asks us all to take responsibility for our common home. 

The latest United Nations climate talks have finished with some progress on tackling climate change – although countries still have lots of work to do when they meet again in a year’s time.

Nearly 200 countries met in Bonn, Germany, for ‘COP23’, two weeks of talks on how to implement the Paris climate agreement, which was agreed in 2015 to cut carbon emissions and tackle global warming. Climate change is having an enormous impact on many of the communities we work with overseas, in some cases pushing people back into poverty.

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Progress was made in Bonn on agreeing the ‘rulebook’ on how the Paris agreement will work. It was also good news that an alliance of countries, led by the UK and Canada, agreed to phase out the use of coal to generate power by 2030, as the burning of coal is one of the main causes of the carbon emissions that cause climate change.

However, money remains a real sticking point for achieving the goals of the Paris agreement.

Sally Tyldesley, Climate Analyst at CAFOD, said: “Ultimately, to build the trust needed now to deliver the Paris agreement, developing countries need to feel assured that richer nations that have caused the problem are going to stump up the cash they’ve promised to help poorer countries cope with climate change. There’s been a sense this year of developed countries hiding behind negotiations on other issues, such as agricultural policy, to avoid reaching the point where money has to be talked about, but developing countries want to see that richer nations are doing more than just expressing sympathy and empathy and instead are putting their money where their mouth is on climate action.”

The Catholic Church and 18 Catholic development agencies from around the world, including CAFOD, joined forces at the climate talks to launch a new paper, Climate Action for the Common Good. The Church wants governments to respond to the climate challenge in a way that reflects the spirit of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’.

Please continue to speak up with us to ensure the UK remains a leader in the global fight on climate change.

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