In this Mother Channel interview at COP 22, with Archbishop Seraphim Kikkotis and Professor Randolph Haluza-DeLay who discuss the vision, objectives and contribution of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on Spiritual Leadership for communities Out of Climate Disaster.
In terms of Global Climate issues, we have been very disappointed over the last 20 years, when talking about the initiative of the international community (Kyoto Protocol) which has done very little with only 37 countries that participated, we wanted this new global agreement to offer what is missing there, i.e. participation of all the countries, commitments, etc., and because we could not task the politicians last year, we requested before to go to Paris for the COP 21 conference, where every country had to present proposals on how to deal with the Climate Change problem, e.g. reduction of pollution, poverty issues, i.e. the poor and suffering people who are the victims of the Climate Change effects.
We are currently at the stage that they are talking about mechanisms for implementation in 2020, but we have to act now, so our role is to inform our members. World Council of Churches (WCC) are represented here at COP 22, which is very important for our constituency. What we can do on the level of the constituency is to convince people to challenge and question everything, it’s very complicated, however, I think Professor Haluza-DeLay can expand further on what he expects from the involvement of the faith communities.
Professor Randolph Haluza-DeLay opens with the statement that ‘people often say that Climate Change is abstract’. Faith communities are always about people, one of the most important aspects. Faith values are about compassion, love, justice, etc., all about the people, so we pay attention to the poor and marginalized, women, children, excluded communities, etc. all of whom in many cases are going to be facing the climate impacts much more directly. So, when we talk about Climate Change, we don’t want to talk in the abstract, we always want to keep people foremost, and so we talk about Climate Finance, purpose being to finance aspects that will enhance people’s lives and to address problems that Climate Change is bringing, or when we talk about Climate Mitigation and the efforts to try to reduce the future impacts that will directly impact people’s lives.
The faith communities are constantly trying to bring that message forward and say, for example, ‘Pay attention to the people and ‘Don’t let it be so political’, etc – it’s not about corporations or arcane financial instruments and policies, it’s always about doing well for people and keeping people’s quality of life foremost.
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▪ Climate Finance as an instrument – good or bad influence in being part of the environmental solution and peaceful coexistence.
▪ Influence of religion in the global local communities and alternately on the level of governments in terms of Climate Change.
▪ Spiritual Poverty – On an individual and personal level, Selfishness and Ignorance factors lead to a sense of “lack of unity” on local level in
parishes which in turn influences this phenomenon of division on all levels, i.e. National, International and Continental around the world.
▪ Social, Economic and Political systems of the planet – IPCC 5th Assessment Report called for ‘Societal Transformation’ and Pope Francis
Encyclical – ‘Laudato Si’ cites – ‘We need a bold, cultural revolution – an ecological conversion’.
▪ Here & Now and Future Goals – Practicality (In a Material world) and Idealism (a Spiritual orientation) in religion. (The 2 + 2 = 5 Association / Principle)
In terms of new innovative, ecologically friendly technology being introduced to address global warming, this might help, but it is not going to change lifestyles or overall global systems, they are going to focus on technological and technical management, but they have to be made available to the people all over the world – the big question is this; ‘How do we make it more available for more people? OR do we need to live our lives differently?
https://futureoftheocean.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/the-world-is-moving-forward-on-climate/ (Monterey Bay Aquarium at COP 22 – Kyle Van Houtan)
https://www.oikoumene.org/en/about-us/self-understanding-vision (World Council of Churches)
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/18/world/pope-francis-climate-technology-encyclical/ (Pope Francis: ‘Revolution’ needed to combat climate change’)
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/18/opinions/sutter-pope-climate/index.html (Message from the Pope: Hey you, stop ignoring climate change)