The Encyclical Laudato Si’ – what it means for the COP21 negotiations and beyond
Paris, for the People and the Planet
In this paper
Executive summary and key asks 3
1. Shared vision and the temperature goal 7
2. Ecological debt and climate finance 8
3. Climate and agriculture nexus 10
4. Energy transition and ending poverty 12
5. Equity and human rights 13
6. Change for the Planet – Care for the People 15
This document is an initiative of the CIDSE Poverty and Climate Justice Group. It was written by Meera Ghani, Giulia Bondi, Rob Eslworth, Sarah Wykes, Maureen Jorand, Jerry Mac Evilly, Geneviève Talbot, Stefan Tuschen and Joanne O’Neill with contributions by Anne Laure Sablé and François Delvaux.
The group is led by the following organisations: Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), CAFOD (England and Wales), CCFD-Terre Solidaire (France), Cordaid (Netherlands), Development and Peace (Canada), KOO/DKA (Austria), MISEREOR (Germany), SCIAF (Scotland) and Trócaire (Ireland).
Inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ on Care for Our Common Home, the paper sets out a vision for the United Nations Conference on Climate (COP21) which will be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015, and beyond. It calls on governments to integrate political decisions within a moral dimension, putting at the centre the poorest communities who are suffering the most from climate change impacts and presents key asks to the international community on issues related to climate. The paper also refers to the three-year campaign “Change for the Planet – Care for the People” launched by CIDSE on 1st July 2015 as a way to highlight the key role of people-driven initiatives to move towards a just and sustainable world. For more information about the campaign, see: www.cidse.org/rethinking-development/change-for-the-planet-care-for-the-people.html.
Meera Ghani (firstname.lastname@example.org − +32 (0)2 233 37 56)
Giulia Bondi (email@example.com − +32 (0)2 233 37 50)
Text edited by Germana Canzi
Published in October 2015 by CIDSE, Rue Stévin 16, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Concept and art direction cover: Heren Loebas
Illustration cover: Korneel Detailleur
Design and production brochure: fuel.
This paper is avalaible in English, French and Spanish at www.cidse.org/resources
and key asks
This publication by CIDSE – an international alliance of 17 Catholic development agencies – sets what we want to see from the Paris agreement as the first step to strong global action. This is based on the evidence from our partners and poor communities of how a changing climate is impacting on them. It is based on an ethical approach, inspired by Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on Care for Our Common Home.1 This calls on governments to consider the moral dimension of political decision, placing the poorest communities who are suffering the most from climate change impacts at the centre of the debate. This report outlines CIDSE’s vision for what the Encyclical means for the Paris agreement.
Governments agreed in Copenhagen in 2009 that “the increase in global temperature should be below 2°C [compared to pre-industrial levels].”2 However, a recent expert report3 found that, in some regions and vulnerable ecosystems, high risks are projected even for warming above 1.5°C.4 This means the world needs to raise its ambition to tackle the climate crisis.
Richer countries – which have industrialised first and caused the current climate crisis – should be the first to act, as they have the primary historical responsibility to prevent dangerous climate change. They should assist poorer countries to adapt to its impacts and pursue alternative, less polluting development models. Therefore, developed countries need to implement deep cuts in domestic greenhouse gas emissions as a way to pay the “ecological debt” owed to poorer countries, and ensure they deliver adequate, predictable and timely climate finance to poor countries.
There are also a number of other issues which should form part of the Paris Agreement discussions, such as the link with hunger and food security, the need to provide electricity to billions who don’t have it, and the need to challenge the current economic model of growth and the exclusive focus on market-based solutions.
The ecological crisis also reveals the systemic failures of a political and economic order driven by vested interests and the exclusive focus on market-based solutions, which has failed to put the common good at the heart of the economy. The current growth and development paradigm is based on unequal economic, social and political systems, unequal distribution and access to resources like water and land, leading to human rights violations, environmental and social degradation and conflicts. Looking beyond the specific debate around the Paris agreement, this needs to be challenged.
Finally, the ecological crisis is also a moral one. Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, CIDSE has always considered issues such as climate change from the viewpoint of entire humanity, to provide a moral compass that motivates people everywhere to think about how their choices are impacting on the poorest and most vulnerable.
Paris, for the People and the Planet
Therefore, CIDSE’s key asks to the international community for Paris and beyond are:
} Phase out all fossil fuel emissions and move towards a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all as early as possible (no later than 2050);
} Ensure that the 1.5°C threshold is enshrined in a legally binding global agreement;
} Set a goal for complete decarbonisation by 2050;
} Establish five-year reviews of pledges and ambition;
} Ensure a rights-based approach consistent with all relevant international conventions (especially the right to food, land and water) to prevent any threat on human rights.
On climate finance:
} Developed countries should provide a plan and timeline on how they will ramp up support to developing countries to meet the US$100 billion goal. They should include increased public finance (particularly for adaptation needs up to 2020 and beyond) and include five-year reviews of climate finance to prevent double-counting with existing ODA commitments. There should be an improvement of the balance between the allocation of finance to mitigation and adaptation and separate targets for each;
} Polluting fossil fuel projects should not be funded. Robust and transparent accounting rules should be in place, to ensure climate investments “do-no-harm” and are socially inclusive and gender sensitive.
On climate and agriculture:
} An explicit reference in the operative section of the core Paris agreement to the impact of climate change on food security and the need to ensure climate action does not have negative impacts on it;
} Mitigation of emissions in the land sector must not result in less ambition in other sectors;
} Support and promote agroecology (including through adequate public funding) and sustainable and resilient food systems. Introduce a policy framework which supports small food producers;
} Strengthen customary rights to land and natural resources to protect indigenous people;
} No endorsement of Climate Smart Agriculture as a solution for climate change.
On energy access:
} The commitment to phase-out of fossil fuels and shifting to 100% renewable energy sources no later than 2050 should also include “sustainable energy access for all”, including consistent policy and financing support by developed countries;
} Rapid implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goal N. 7 from 2016 onwards to ensure access to affordable, reliable, safe and sustainable energy services for everyone.
On people and universal rights:
} Explicitly recognise that climate change impacts can jeopardise human rights;
} Establish a safeguard system to prevent social and environmental harm for all climate actions, including a grievance mechanism and monitoring system for communities and individuals negatively impacted. Language on human rights protection and fulfilment must be legally binding;
} Ensure gender equality and full and effective and gender-responsive participation; food security and the resilience of natural ecosystems, and a just transition that creates decent work and quality jobs;
} Work towards enabling a radical change in people’s lifestyles towards living simply by reducing overall energy consumption and making environmentally friendly choices. 4 5
“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a complex system linked to many of the essential conditions for human life. A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system […] Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home (23)
This publication by CIDSE – an international alliance of 17 Catholic development agencies – sets out a vision for the UN conference in Paris,i and beyond, and is directly inspired by Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on Care for Our Common Home. Six years after the Copenhagen summit – widely seen as a failure – this marks another historic moment for world’s leaders to seize the opportunity to agree on concrete, ambitious and fair solutions to address these challenges. CIDSE actively follows the negotiations with the wider civil society network and has identified key issues, crucial for Paris. These relate to: long-term goal, climate finance, agriculture, human rights and energy transition.
The Papal Encyclical calls on governments to integrate all political decisions within a moral and ethical dimension putting at the centre the poorest communities who are suffering the most from climate change impacts. CIDSE is calling to move towards a just, equitable and sustainable use and distribution of global resources by citizens of the world. Addressing the global over-exploitation of finite natural resources requires limits to overall consumption. Economic paradigms need reshaping in order to uphold human creativity, social inclusion, gender equality and democratic political culture. New models of development would ensure access to clean and safe energy, food, water, healthcare and education.
As Pope Francis says: we are one human family, sharing all of Creation, globally interdependent and “faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” (139)
We need to combine our calls towards policy makers with a change coming from individuals. This call for a paradigm shift is reflected in the CIDSE campaign, Change for the Planet – Care for the People, whose aim is to spark and enable a radical change in people’s lifestyles towards living simply by reducing overall energy consumption and making environmentally friendly food choices. People-led initiatives are blossoming world-wide and demonstrate that people are willing to make the changes that politicians are still afraid to call for.ii
i From 30 November to 11 December 2015, the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place in Paris, France; this will be the culmination of a one year round of negotiations in which countries were asked to reach a common agreement on different aspects related to climate change.
ii CIDSE is also supporting the People’s Test on Climate, which sets collective expectations for Paris, being: an urgent and drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; provide adequate support for transformation; deliver justice for impacted people; focus on transformational action.
Paris, for the People and the Planet
Climate change and the mounting “ecological crisis,” together with poverty and inequality, are central challenges of our times. There is a clear interconnection between social and environmental justice. The ecological crisis reveals the systemic failures of a political and economic order driven by vested interests and the exclusive focus on market-based solutions and profit, which has failed to put the human being and the common good at the heart of the economy. We need to put an end to the current growth and development paradigm of unequal economic, social and political systems, unequal distribution and access to resources like water and land, leading to human rights violations, environmental and social degradation and conflicts.
Based on the vision of the Papal Encyclical, we hope the UN conference in Paris will help kick start a process to:
} Bring transformative and systemic change to tackle the root causes of today’s social and ecological crisis. This means moving away from fossil fuels and extractivist models of development and transitioning into a world that ensures the planet and humanity’s survival by keeping temperatures rise below 1.5°C. We need to move towards development models that foster participation, equity, equality and justice for the most affected people;
} Spark and enable in others, as in ourselves, a radical change in lifestyles and values, an ecological conversion that allows us to reduce overall energy consumption; privilege the use of renewable energy resources and make environmentally conscious food choices that minimise environmental impacts and allow producers to gain fair livelihoods;
} Support existing solutions that work: from small producers practicing agroecology to guarantee food sovereignty, to communities developing decentralised management of renewable sources of energy to ensure fair access to clean energy; and community-driven projects that promote a culture of care and global solidarity;
} Agree on a fair, ambitious, binding and transformative agreement, one that thoroughly addresses the ecological debt owed to present and future generations; one that enhances the decarbonisation of our societies to secure a safe, fair and clean future; one that addresses how societies will mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change and one that places the respect of human rights above particular interests. We need strong commitments that will ensure social and environmental justice for all, putting people and planet first.
We cannot overlook the deep historical inequalities, but must confront the lack of equity between North and South. The onus cannot only be on those who have never had.
There is no time to wait anymore. It’s not about “more”, it’s about better, just and fairer for all. It’s about justice!6 7
1. Shared vision and the temperature goal
“The myopia of power politics delays the inclusion of a far-sighted environmental agenda within the overall agenda of governments. Thus we forget that ‘time is greater than space’, that we are always more effective when we generate processes rather than holding on to positions of power. True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home (178)
A changing climate is already impacting lives, livelihoods, health, ecosystems, economies, food security, amplifying existing risks and creating new ones. The poorest and most vulnerable communities are being hit hardest, as they have limited capacity to adapt. Climate change risks pushing people and communities back into poverty, undoing decades of development gains. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “People who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally, or otherwise marginalised are especially vulnerable to climate change.”5
The Copenhagen Accord says that “the increase in global temperature should be below 2°C [compared to pre-industrial levels]”6 and this is now the temperature threshold for the international United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. However, a recent expert report found that, in some regions and vulnerable ecosystems, high risks are projected for warming above 1.5°C.7 Limiting global warming to 2°C is not sufficient to protect the poorest and most vulnerable people. Anything above 1.5°C could result in extreme losses that countries and communities are unable to adapt to. For the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)8 and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)9 where impacts are already felt most severely, a 1.5°C target is a matter of survival.10 Over 100 countries worldwide are calling for it to be included in the Paris agreement for the sake of present and future generations.
The 2°C target is essentially a “political” target11 that would allow for social and economic inequalities that exist independently of the climate crisis to get worse. For CIDSE the target also needs to act as a catalyst for transformative change moving beyond “business as usual”, towards a just, equitable and sustainable use and distribution of global resources by citizens of the world. This is also a clear message from the Papal Encyclical “we have to realise that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.“12 (49)
This means those who are historically most responsible and have a higher capacity to act than others due to their high income and wealth, level of development and access to technologies should shoulder majority of the burden. Failure to stay within a 1.5°C limit would also require greater commitment in terms of finance, technological and knowledge support from developed countries to assist those countries most at risk to climate change. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) found that “actions for returning global warming to below 1.5°C by 2100 are in many ways similar to those limiting warming to below 2°C” but that “the more ambitious 1.5°C goal leaves no space to further delay global mitigation action and emission reductions need to scale up swiftly in the next decades.”13
The IPCC concluded that to have at least a 50% chance of staying below 1.5°C, cuts in global CO2 emissions in the order of 70-95% below 2010 levels by 2050 are needed.14 This requires eliminating fossil fuels as soon as possible, and no later than 2050.
Paris, for the People and the Planet
According to Pope Francis: “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”15
Yet fossil fuel extraction and production currently still receive trillions of dollars in subsidies from governments every year. According to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest findings16, these subsidies amount to US$1,000 a year for every citizen living in the G20 group of the world’s leading economies, despite the G20’s pledge in 200917 to phase out support for coal, oil and gas.
CIDSE is calling for:
} Phasing out all fossil fuel emissions and moving towards a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all as early as possible (no later than 2050);
} Ensuring that the 1.5°C threshold is enshrined in a legally binding global agreement, with ambitious mitigation commitments and actions from all countries, depending on their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC);
} Complete decarbonisation by 2050;
} Five-year reviews of pledges and ambition to confirm emission pathways are in line with the principle of equity, the latest science and the long term temperature and decarbonisation goal. The periodic review should also identify gaps and ensure additional action, where country pledges do not fulfil the principle of common and individual responsibilities under the Paris Climate agreement and the UNFCCC. Countries must equally be held to account where their commitments are inconsistent with their national action plans.
Deep cuts in domestic greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries are needed to pay the “ecological debt” owed to poorer countries, as part of a just approach to tackling the global climate crisis based on intergenerational equity. This includes the delivery of adequate, predictable and timely international climate finance to help developing countries. This requires that developed countries meet their commitment to provide US$100 billion dollars per year by 2020, agreed in Copenhagen in 2009. This is the foundation of a just climate settlement and will build the trust necessary to secure a strong outcome in Paris that facilitates ambitious climate action on the ground.
We consider this a form of reparation for the damage caused historically by industrialised countries, mainly through the burning of fossil fuels, which still receive trillions of dollars of subsidies from governments each year. A “finance package” should cover both the pre- 2020 and the post-2020 periods. In Laudato Si’ the Pope writes “developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development……We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities.” (52)
2. Ecological debt and climate finance
“A true “ecological debt” exists, particularly between the global north and south, connected to commercial imbalances with effects on the environment, and the disproportionate use of natural resources by certain countries over long periods of time.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home (51)8 9
Delivery of climate finance needs to adhere to the “do no harm” principle (see below) and not provide support for polluting fossil fuel projects or false solutions such as “climate smart agriculture”18 (see section 3). Climate finance should ensure that investments do not make the poorest and most vulnerable worse off and aim to maximise social and environmental co-benefits.19 This could involve investing in access to sustainable energy services for the poorest, forest protection and building institutional and human capacity in developing countries to ensure that climate change planning is socially inclusive and pro-poor.
Local communities on the frontlines of climate change must participate in decision-making over the financing of adaptation and mitigation initiatives in the global South. Transparent monitoring and reporting of climate finance flows will ensure public accountability. It will also uphold the Cancun agreement that “Parties should, in all climate change-related actions, fully respect human rights.” Since climate change impacts, as well as adaptation and mitigation projects aimed at addressing them, can have differentiated impacts on men and women (as underlined by the IPCC 5th Assessment), climate finance provision must be gender-sensitive.
Climate finance should support countries’ right to development by funding low-carbon and climate-resilient development strategies which are in line with recipient countries’ and its citizens development priorities in order to maximise effectiveness.
Finally, current levels of public finance are far below what is needed20, and adaptation in particular remains under-funded.21 Developed countries may deploy a range of instruments,22 channels and actors to meet the US$100 billion goal. Funding from public budgets will have to increase significantly and any private sector finance must be complementary to rather than a substitute for public sector finance, especially for funding adaptation. Predictable public finance for adaptation is essential for developing countries to deal with the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
All climate finance, whether public or private, should be held to the same accounting and transparency rules and have strong environmental and human rights standards and safeguards, accountability mechanisms and evaluation of results.
CIDSE is calling for:
} Developed countries to provide a plan and timeline on how they intend to ramp up support to developing countries in line with meeting the US$100 billion goal. This should include qualitative and quantitative information on actors, channels, sources and instruments to deliver predictable and scaled-up funds between now and 2020, demonstrating how the balance between adaptation and mitigation finance will address the adaptation gap;
} Developed countries pledges to include increased public finance, particularly for adaptation needs, up to 2020 and beyond;
} Not limiting the focus of countries’ climate finance pledges to creating ‘enabling environments’ in developing countries to attract new investments and leveraging private sector finance;
} Including five-year reviews of climate finance to prevent double-counting with existing Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments. Separate targets should be set for adaptation and for mitigation finance, informed by the needs of recipient countries;
} Including (through a COP decision) a commitment to improve the balance between the allocation of climate finance to mitigation and adaptation, aiming to reach 50:50 by 2020. The Paris climate agreement must include a 50% public climate finance floor for adaptation so that all countries make the same commitment;
} Closing the loophole for climate finance to fund polluting fossil fuel projects. Institutions at national, regional and global level – Multilateral Development Banks, national development agencies, export credit agencies and the new Green Climate Fund – should shift all forms of support away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and energy efficiency that can support low carbon development;
Paris, for the People and the Planet
} Ensuring robust and transparent accounting for climate finance: common reporting frameworks for emission reduction commitments, development assistance and climate finance are needed to ensure commitments can be compared, and to track progress. Only finance with climate action as a principal objective should be counted as climate finance;iii
} Ensuring climate investments “do-no-harm” and are socially inclusive and gender
sensitive by mandating public participation in decision-making over projects funded, as well as monitoring and evaluation frameworks. Investment criteria should ensure finance does not damage local eco-systems, local communities, violate human rights or lead to negative impacts such as the further impoverishment of vulnerable and poor groups. All climate finance should be gender-sensitive and promote gender equality.
3. Climate and agriculture nexus
” […] there is a great variety of small-scale food production systems which feed the greater part of the world’s peoples, using a modest amount of land and producing less waste, be it in small agricultural parcels, in orchards and gardens, hunting and wild harvesting or local fishing. Economies of scale, especially in the agricultural sector, end up forcing smallholders to sell their land or to abandon their traditional crops […]”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home (129)
Climate change, agriculture and food security are inextricably linked, and addressing existing global hunger while preparing to feed an increasing population in the context of a changing climate is a defining challenge of our times. Agriculture is a key sector, both in terms of the emissions the sector itself generates and the detrimental impacts on rural communities as a result of increased weather variability and loss of resources. Therefore the Paris agreement must facilitate an enabling policy framework that supports rather than undermine “agroecological” approaches, ensuring secure access to natural resources and avoiding ‘false solutions’.
Agricultural activities, including the indirect consequences of land use change, deforestation and transport, account for one third of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.23 The contribution of agricultural production to GHG emissions is significant but a distinction between industrial and small-scale food production needs to be made. Whilst food production is widely blamed for generating the lion’s share (80-86%)24 of GHG emissions related to the food system, emissions which result from activities beyond the farm gate account for approximately half of food chain emissions.25 In addition, middle-income countries will likely follow this trend in the future26 primarily due to an increase in industrialisation and standardisation of food systems.
At the same time the agricultural sector is particularly affected by climate change and measures to help vulnerable communities to adapt will be needed in order to face climate-related challenges such as desertification, land degradation, drought, floods and water scarcity. A range of adverse effects of climate change, most notably on small scale farming have raised income inequality, reduced household wealth, undermined food security and have affected women disproportionately.27 In developing countries, these risks are greatly exacerbated by low
iii Corresponding to the OECD DAC Rio Marker 2. 10 11
levels of investment in small scale farmers, low access to technology, reliance on rain-fed agriculture, and high levels of pre-existing food insecurity and poverty. It is estimated that by 2080, 600 million people will suffer from hunger and malnutrition due to climate change.28
Nevertheless, smallholder farmers can be very efficient in terms of production per hectare and have a huge potential for ensuring food security and realising the right to food while improving the resilience of food systems. They manage over 80% of the world’s estimated 500 million small farms and provide over 80% of the food consumed in a large part of the developing world, contributing significantly to poverty reduction and food security.29 Thus it is important that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilitiesiv should be respected: the burden of mitigating emissions should not be solely placed on developing countries or on the shoulders of small-scale food producers. The new climate agreement must protect the right to food and promote more sustainable ways of producing, distributing, transforming and consuming food.
To be able to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C, we urgently need to begin a transition toward a sustainable, low-carbon society. This will require radical changes in our methods of production and our consumption habits, particularly in the agriculture sector. CIDSE promotes agroecology30 – which enhances agricultural systems by using and recycling natural resources and shifting away from the use of fossil fuels – as the only holistic approach to agriculture, based on practices and principles that are truly productive in the face of climate change. Agroecological practices also greatly improve organic matter (carbon) in the soil and largely eliminate the need for long distant transport, freezing and processing and serve to prevent deforestation.v
However, other multi-stakeholders initiatives such as the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture31 are gaining ground. Far from being a new, ‘revolutionary’ concept addressing both agriculture and climate change issues, climate smart agriculture appears to be another form of “green-washing”. The Alliance, dominated by private interests, lacks in monitoring and accountability tools, in social and environmental safeguards and in the representation of developing countries.32 In order to truly tackle the structural causes of climate change, a clear choice needs to be made between different sets of technologies, models and practices33 in order to avoid promoting false solutions dangerous for people and the planet.
CIDSE is calling for:
} Making explicit reference to the impact of climate change on food security in the operative section of the core Paris agreement;vi
} Ensuring that climate action does not have negative impacts on food security;vii
} Mitigation of emissions in the land sector must not result in less ambition in other sectors to avoid compensation or a zero net emissions goal approach;
} Designing the new climate agreement in a way that supports and promotes agroecology and sustainable and resilient food systems while ensuring that vulnerable people have access to natural resources and are empowered in their ability to adapt to climate change;
iv Also known as CBDRRC.
v Soil carbon sequestration can be brought about by good agricultural management (e.g. restoring soils and tackling fossil fuel dependency through agroecological methods). However, sequestration should be considered an additional benefit, and land use activities should not be considered a primary goal of adaptation and mitigation policies and strategies. Nor should it be considered as a way to further develop carbon market mechanisms just like it has been done in the forest sector.
vi Paragraph 15 under section C.
vii CIDSE joins the call by several civil society groups to include in the Paris text the following language: “Parties shall, when pursuing actions in the land sector in addition to actions in other sectors and consistent with all relevant international obligations, prioritise the protection, maintenance and restoration of natural ecosystems; undertake emissions reductions and removals in an equitable manner; and the governing body shall develop principles and guidelines for ensuring social protections, food security, ecological integrity, transparency and comparability in relation to such actions”.
Paris, for the People and the Planet
} Not endorsing Climate Smart Agriculture as a solution for climate change. The “Lima Paris Action Agenda of Solutions”viii for COP21, aiming to highlight non-State action to reach an ambitious agreement in 2015, should not include projects labelled Climate Smart Agriculture;
} Allocating adequate funds for truly sustainable agricultural programmes in developing countries through public investments, including the US$ 100 billion commitment to the Green Climate Fund (GCF);
} Introducing a policy framework which supports – instead of weakens – the practices of small food producers such as open-pollinated seed varieties, crop diversity and low-input agricultural practices”;ix
} Strengthening customary rights to land and natural resources to protect indigenous people, and applying Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) principles to them.x
4. Energy transition and ending poverty
“There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy. Worldwide there is minimal access to clean and renewable energy.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home (26)
Our current energy system is not meeting the needs of billions of people around the world who lack access to modern energy services: 1.1 billion have no access to electricity while 2.8 billion cook with polluting fuels.34 95% of the energy poor people live in developing Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in rural areas that are not connected to the grid. The most cost-effective and reliable way of providing them with access is often decentralised (off-grid, largely renewable) energy. This is particularly true of electricity. In sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, grid electrification is not keeping up with population growth.
Globally, there has also been very little progress on clean cooking access. Investing in clean and efficient cooking solutions is also critical to prevent the negative health impacts of indoor air pollution from using traditional fuels − particularly on women and girls.
Investing in sustainable energy and energy efficiency globally is crucial to protect the climate and also the poorest who are most vulnerable to climate change impacts. With sufficient and appropriate support, poorer countries could ‘leapfrog’ to a cleaner, more affordable and more inclusive energy pathways for development.
viii The Lima-Paris Action Agenda is a joint undertaking of the Peruvian and French COP presidencies, the Office of the Secretary General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC Secretariat. It is aimed at strengthening climate action throughout 2015, in Paris in December and beyond: i. mobilizing robust global action towards a low carbon and resilient societies; ii. providing enhanced support to existing initiatives, such as those launched during the UN Secretary General Climate Summit in New York in September 2014; iii. mobilizing new partners and providing a platform for the visibility of their actions, commitments and results in the run up to COP21. www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/media-facilities/press-room/lima-paris-action-plan.
ix Such a framework should also “give priority to linking smallholder farmers to domestic, national and regional markets, as well as to new markets that create direct links between producers and consumers, and to schemes that rely on smallholders for the procurement of food for school and institutional feeding programmes.” HLPE report, Investing in Smallholder Agriculture for Food Security 2013, www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/hlpe/ hlpe_documents/HLPE_Reports/HLPE-Report-6_Investing_in_smallholder_agriculture.pdf.
x It is “the right of indigenous peoples to make free and informed choices about the development of their lands and resources in relation to development projects, resource extraction and other investment projects”. http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1125&context=njihr. Civil society organisations are asking for these principles to be respected and extended to non-indigenous communities. 12 13
Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ calls for an urgent transition away from polluting fossil fuels to renewable energy. This should be available to everyone, including the poorest. Richer countries should take responsibility by supporting poorer countries to make the energy shift through financing, technology transfer and technical assistance. Maximising energy efficiency is a key building block of the energy shift, it adds.
CIDSE is calling for:
} The commitment to phase-out of fossil fuels and shifting to 100% renewables no later than 2050 should also include “sustainable energy access for all”, including through consistent policy and financing support by developed countries;
} Rapid implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goal N. 7 from 2016 onwards to ensure access to affordable, reliable, safe and sustainable energy services for everyone and action to decarbonise energy systems sufficiently by 2030 to keep the world below 1.5°C of warming.xi
5. Equity and human rights
“We have to realise that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home (49)
Climate change and the mounting ‘ecological crisis’, together with poverty and inequality, are the central challenges of our times. But, as Pope Francis says, these are not separate problems: they represent one complex crisis, both social and environmental. This requires “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature”. (139)
Climate change has the biggest impact on poor communities in poor countries, which see their lives disrupted by mega-storms, droughts or flooding. When these catastrophes happen in poor regions of the world, it puts them in an even more difficult situation, as there are currently no concrete adaptation plans. For example, almost one billion people do not have access to sufficient food to live well and climate change is expected to further threaten food production and food security.
As a result of this instability, numerous human rights are threatened; the right to food, life, health and development. Climate change also threatens to reverse progress made in recent years on healthcare, education, transport and decent employment. The poorest people, particularly women, children, and disabled people in rural areas are the most affected by climate change − they are also the groups who have contributed least to causing the problem. Despite this – and despite the huge resources poured into global discussions about climate change − the world’s poorest people have no say or representation in public decision-making.
The ecological crisis reveals the systemic failures of a political and economic order driven by vested interests and the exclusive focus on market-based solutions, which has failed to put the common good at the heart of the economy. We need to challenge the current growth and development paradigm. This is based on unequal economic, social and political systems, unequal distribution and access to resources like water and land, leading to human rights violations, environmental and social degradation and conflicts.
xi This requires indicators that are fit for purpose i.e. “measure what matters”, and sufficient and appropriate support for implementation, including financing, technical assistance, appropriate technology transfer and capacity building.
Paris, for the People and the Planet
At its root then, the ecological crisis is not just an economic and an environmental issue but a moral one. Inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, CIDSE has always considered issues such as climate change from the viewpoint of entire humanity, to provide a moral compass that motivates people everywhere to do the right thing and think about how their choices are impacting on the poorest and most vulnerable.
For CIDSE, this is about people, and our capacity as humanity to secure safe and dignified lives for all. It is a demand that comes from communities and people at the frontlines. Keeping temperatures down below the 1.5°C threshold also means ensuring communities are given adequate support as indigenous and other unique human systems will face increasingly higher risks of losing their land, their cultural and natural heritage, community cohesion, sense of place, and identity.
Pope Francis’ concept of “ecological debt”, mentioned in section 2, means that these deep historical inequalities cannot be overlooked within the climate negotiations. The lack of equity between the North and the South must be addressed. “Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations.” (51)
Equity for CIDSE is not only about how to share the effort35 (emissions reductions and support) amongst countries in a fair way. It is also about building a transformative agenda for social justice and human rights. On this collective journey we need to understand how to challenge the ever rising inequality and
to insist on a pro-people agenda of decent wages, universal services, social protection, and on narrowing the gap between rich and poor. And most of all ensure we leave a safer, fairer and cleaner world to future generations. “Intergenerational solidarity is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice, since the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us.” (159)
The UN Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights have repeatedly and emphatically highlighted the adverse effects of climate change on human rights. Echoing the Council resolution, Parties to the UNFCCC emphasised the importance of respecting human rights in all climate related actions as part of the Cancun Agreement in 2010, stating that “Parties should, in all climate change-related actions, fully respect human rights.”xii
Experience with climate finance projects – especially the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – has shown a policy gap in protecting human rights in climate policy. While mostly well intentioned, some projects have harmed the environment and people – even infringing on rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, housing, and culture, among others.36 A closer look at the instruments established under the UNFCCC to address climate change reveals that so far, the Cancun mandate has been weakly operationalised and enforced.xiii
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis points to the interconnected social and environmental crises affecting our ‘common home’ and the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet.
xii 1/CP.16, paragraph 8: The Human Rights Council stated in 2009 that “climate change-related impacts have a range of implications, both direct and indirect, for the effective enjoyment of human rights.” xiii The recognition of existing human rights obligations is critical if safeguards and accountability measures are to be established for all climate actions, democratisation of the decision-making process as well as full and effective participation in design and implementation of measures to address climate change.14 15
CIDSE is calling for:
} Specifying how existing human rights obligations apply in the context of climate change and explicitly recognising that climate change impacts can jeopardise human rights;
} Language on human rights protection and fulfilment must be legally binding;xiv
} Establishing a safeguard system to prevent social and environmental harm, applicable to all climate actions. This would include a grievance mechanism and monitoring system for communities and individuals negatively impacted by climate actions;
} In all climate change related actions human rights should be respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled for all, including the most marginalised and vulnerable. Gender equality and full and effective and gender-responsive participation should be ensured; food security and the resilience of natural ecosystems should be protected; the need for a just transition that creates decent work and quality jobs should be included;
} The 1.5°C threshold is vital and adequate climate action will remain unachievable without taking principles of equity (intragenerational and intergenerational), common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC), historical responsibilities, and the right to sustainable development fully into account.
6. Change for the Planet – Care for the People
Reflecting on the work CIDSE carries out with its member organisations towards social justice, the campaign Change for the Planet – Care for the People aims to promote sustainable ways of living. The global over-exploitation of natural resources puts people and planet at risk and it starts with vulnerable people living in poverty.
Inspired by Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, which states: “Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies” (5), we are convinced that “a change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power.” (206)
The campaign calls for a radical change in people’s lifestyles towards living simply by reducing overall energy consumption and making environmentally friendly food choices. This can be done by limiting consumption to sustainably-produced local foods that minimise environmental impact, allow producers to gain fair livelihoods, do not violate human rights, and are also affordable.
On food consumption and production, the campaign encourages people to become “food citizens,” engaging in behaviours that support the development of a democratic, socially and economically just and environmentally sustainable food system. The campaign encourages people to re-gain food preparation preservation and conservation skills, as well as gaining knowledge on food production (e.g. knowing your farmer, being aware of seasonality).
xiv and most appropriately fits in the operative section of the core of the agreement. We join the call by several civil society groups to include the following language: “All Parties shall, in all climate change related actions, respect, protect, promote, and fulfil human rights for all, including the rights of indigenous peoples; be guided by gender equality and ensure full and effective and gender-responsive participation; promote food security and the protection and resilience of natural ecosystems; and consider a just transition of the workforce that creates decent work and quality jobs.”
Paris, for the People and the Planet
The lifestyle challenges include:
} Participating in food production to the extent that you can (e.g. if you have a space, grow your own food / make a little compost). Only by growing some food for yourself can you become acquainted with the beautiful energy cycle that revolves from soil to seed to flower to fruit to food to offal to decay, and around again;
} Preparing your own meals. This should also enable you to eat more cheaply and it will give you a measure of “quality control”: you will have some reliable knowledge of what has been added to the food you eat;
} Buying local food. The locally produced seasonal food supply is the most secure and fresh option and it uses the least energy in production, while being easiest for local consumers to understand and influence.
On energy consumption and production, the campaign encourages individuals to become aware of their energy consumption and supply. We encourage individuals to re-consider the amount of energy really needed, to prioritise community actions aiming to share energy costs and to invest in renewable sources for energy production.
The lifestyle challenges include:
} Cut down the amount of energy you use. Avoid leaving appliances on stand-by, install energy-saving bulbs, choose appliances with the highest rating (AAA) on the energy label and insulate your home or install double-glazing;
} Phase out fossil fuel use. In order to limit global warming and its dangerous social impacts, we should limit natural gas, oil and coal usage and favour renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power.
Our commitment – together with several successful models of sustainable living that already exist – demonstrates that society is ready and asking for far-reaching change in policy and practice. In this way, Change for the Planet – Care for the People wants to join the thousands of people that will mobilise around the COP21 in Paris and all around the world calling for system change in order to prevent further climate change. A difference can be made if acting together.16 17
At many times in history, the international community has proven it can overcome divisions in a common effort to respond to significant threats and pursue a world of peace, environmental, climate, economic and social justice, and gender equality. Now is one of those moments.xv For example, over the past four years we have seen unprecedented levels of discussion, consultation and mobilisation in the preparation of the new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These rightly propose a universal agenda, aiming to tackle both poverty and climate change.
Yet there are gaps and inconsistencies linking these discussions within the Paris agreement: for example continued competition for limited natural resources which can lead to further rises in greenhouse gas emissions without tackling inequality and poverty is contradictory. The current SDG agreement does not cover issues such as the unjust global rules of finance, taxation, trade and investment, all essential to realise the structural transformation needed to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. The Paris Agreement also risks suffering from a number of shortcomings and contradictions on climate finance, human rights, and the right to food.
As the world moves forward with the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, the major contradictions inherent in these processes will have to be tackled. CIDSE’s proposals − based on Pope Francis’ ground-breaking Encyclical Letter − can hopefully provide useful a roadmap on how to bring systemic and transformational change within the Paris Agreement negotiations and beyond.
xv Public call to world leaders on the occasion of the UN Summit on Sustainable Development, September 2015, www.cidse.org/sectors/rethinking-development/public-call-to-world-leaders-on-the-occasion-of-the-united-nations-summit-on-sustainable-development-september-2015.html.
Paris, for the People and the Planet
3 http://unfccc.int/documentation/documents/advanced_search/items/6911. php?priref=600008454
4 Structured Expert Dialogue of the 2013-2015 Review (SEDR). See: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/sb/eng/inf01.pdf
7 Structured Expert Dialogue of the 2013-2015 Review (SEDR). See: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/sb/eng/inf01.pdf
8 http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/Lists/OSPSubmissionUplo ad/167128_130777943959376472-UNFCCC-ADP-Bonn-June-2015.pdf
9 http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/Lists/OSPSubmissionUplo ad/213_128_130776534859226605-LDCADPopening_Final.pdf
11 http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/12/two-degrees-a-selected-history-of-climate-change-speed-limit/ and http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/the-carbon-brief-interview-jean-pascal-van-ypersele/
12 49, http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html
15 165, http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html
18 CIDSE paper on “climate smart agriculture”, http://www.cidse.org/publications/just-food/ food-and-climate/csa-the-emperor-s-new-clothes.html18 19
23 IPCC AR4 in World Bank, Climate-smart agriculture: a call to action, 2007
24 CIDSE, Climate-Smart Agriculture: the Emperor’s new clothes?, 2014
25 Garnett, T., Where are the best opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the food system (including the food chain)?, 2010, p. S28
26 CCAFS, Supply Chain Emissions, 2011
27 Trócaire, Feeling the Heat, How climate change is driving extreme weather in the developing world, 2014, http://www.trocaire.org/sites/trocaire/files/resources/policy/ trocaire-climate-change-report-2014.pdf
28 UNDP, 2008, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/268/hdr_20072008_en_ complete.pdf
29 IFAD/UNEP, http://www.ifad.org/climate/resources/smallholders_report.pdf ,2013, p. 6
30 CIDSE, Agriculture: from Problem to Solution, 2012, http://www.cidse.org/publications/ just-food/food-and-climate/agriculture_from_problem_to_solution.html
31 CIDSE, Climate-Smart Agriculture: the Emperor’s new Clothes?, 2014 and CIDSE, Climate-smart revolution… or a new era of green washing?, 2015
32 Climate-Smart revolution… or a new era of green-washing?, CIDSE, May 2015 http://www.cidse.org/publications/just-food/food-and-climate/climate-smart-revolution-or-a-new-era-of-green-washing-2.html
33 Don’t be fooled! Civil society says NO to “Climate Smart Agriculture”, October 2015, http://www.cidse.org/publications/just-food/food-and-climate/don-t-be-fooled-civil-society-says-no-to-climate-smart-agriculture-and-urges-decision-makers-to-support-agroecology.html
together for global justiceCIDSE membersBelgiumAustriaBelgiumEngland and WalesCanadaFranceIrelandGermanyItalyPortugalLuxembourgthe NetherlandsSpainSlovakiaScotlandSwitzerlandUSA}CIDSE is an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Its members share a common strategy in their efforts to eradicate poverty and establish global justice. CIDSE’s advocacy work covers global governance; resources for development; climate justice; food, agriculture & sustainable trade, and business & human rights.www.cidse.org