Archive for the ‘Climate Environment’ Category

Engaging in the 2030 Agenda through the lens of Laudato Si’

December 11, 2017

This blog was originally published by Together 2030 as part of their 2-year anniversary series

In September 2015, Pope Francis addressed the UN General Assembly in New York. He explained that the dramatic reality of increasing exclusion, inequality and the ecological crisis had led him to take stock of his responsibility and speak out in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Moments after that, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Earlier that year, Pope Francis had published his latest encyclical “Laudato Si’ – On care for our common home”. Encyclicals are letters written by the Head of the Catholic Church addressed to the Catholic community. They deal with issues that are relevant to the moment and seek to give moral direction. In contrast, Laudato Si’ was addressed to all people, Catholics and non-Catholics. Its publication months earlier was no mere coincidence but the Pope’s attempt to throw his support to the process that led to the 2030 Agenda.

Encyclicals build on the body of Catholic Social Teaching – the doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of social justice. However, Laudato Si’ gives a much fuller treatment of environmental issues, just as the 2030 Agenda does. It questions the current model of development, and invites everybody to engage in a dialogue to re-define progress and to promote development that can benefit all – particularly the poorest and most vulnerable people – while respecting the natural environment. It is a clear call to self-reflection for every person living on this planet.

There are many ways in which the 2030 Agenda and Laudato Si’ complement each other: both tell us to focus on the poorest, most hard-to-reach groups; both address the inequality of wealth and power; both call for an integrated approach to tackling environmental degradation, poverty and inequality, and; both call for deeper participation, dialogue and stronger governance.

But analysing the 2030 Agenda from a Laudato Si’ lens can help us go further and pose questions about assumptions of continued economic growth, technological advances, and lifestyles based on increasing consumption. More importantly, it provides the moral ground to go beyond a “feeding-the-hungry” approach but instead to dig deeper at the structural reasons that allow inequality, discrimination and injustice to continue.

As governments develop SDG implementation plans, we believe that Laudato Si’ strengthens the moral case for transformative policies. Catholic agencies have already been inspired to engage in implementation processes in many countries.  CAFOD will soon be publishing a paper that looks at the intersections between Laudato Si’ and the 2030 Agenda more in detail. We hope that it will be also useful outside of the Catholic Family.

If you’re interested in this publication, please contact Diego Martinez-Schütt at dmartinez@cafod.org.uk

Further resources:

 

New work: Agricultural Transformation

November 23, 2017

Poverty reduction remains a major challenge. The story being told by many governments and donors is that the solution to this challenge is economic growth, fuelled by economic transformation (the movement of labour and capital away from less productive agricultural activities to the more productive manufacturing and services sectors of the economy). Economic history in some way endorses this view: structural change in the economy is the only known permeant route out of poverty.

But the picture isn’t always so rosy. (more…)

Localization, Inclusion and Integrated Approach on Disaster Risk Reduction

June 23, 2017

Written by Nanette Salvador-Antequisa

Nanette is the Executive Director of EcoWEB, a non-governmental organisation based in the Philippines. Here she comments on discussions and lessons learned from the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) held in Cancun on 24-26 May.

(more…)

Three rules for donors: making sure public-private development finance actually works

April 4, 2016

Last year’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement on climate change represent a significant political shift away from a dependency on fossil fuels towards an era of development more in harmony with the environment. They broaden the previous focus of tackling poverty to include leaving no-one behind and tackling inequality.

Both will require billions, if not trillions, of pounds to implement.

With limited aid budgets, donor governments and global institutions have quickly set their sights on leveraging private sector investment as a way of plugging this finance gap. Aid budgets are increasingly directed towards participating in private sector projects, such as big infrastructure projects like roads, ports and hospitals; service provision such as schools; energy and healthcare.

But if public-private partnerships (PPPs) are to be used effectively to implement both the SDGs and the Paris Agreement, donors need to keep three key rules in mind. (more…)

CAFOD’s hopes for COP21

December 2, 2015

After much anticipation the Paris climate negotiations, or COP21, are finally upon us. It is no exaggeration to say that governments, businlogo-cop21-webesses, charities and faith communities have been working towards this point for years. Failure to secure a meaningful agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in 2009 made many decide to work differently, building political will from the ground up.

Much good work on communicating the urgency of the climate challenge has already been done, from Ban Ki-Moon’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 to Pope Francis Encyclical, Laudato Si’. This process will reach its zenith over the next two weeks in Paris. CAFOD, together with sister Catholic development agencies, is now attending the negotiations in Paris to represent the experience of our partners on the ground, advocating for a deal that protects the world’s most vulnerable people. Paris needs to demonstrate the international community working together at its best, delivering a binding agreement which can be assessed and strengthened every few years and ultimately delivers a shift away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy that protects the planet and provides energy for everyone, including the poorest.

(more…)

Do we need more coal to end energy poverty?

November 25, 2015
Africa-Kenya-Rose-cooking-dinner

Cooking with bio-mass, Kenya

The climate threat from coal

The past week has seen a flurry of announcements about the future of coal in the run-up to the Paris climate talks.

Stopping support for coal is a priority since planned coal development would singlehandedly exhaust the world’s carbon budget, taking us beyond the 2°C ‘defence line’ against dangerous global warming.

Many organisations participating in the Paris talks advocate phasing out fossil fuels  altogether and switching to 100% renewable energy by 2050 at the latest to have a realistic chance of keeping well below 2°C. Let alone the  1.5°C threshold that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) want.

(more…)

Measuring what matters

November 11, 2015

In Laudato Si’ – the Pope calls us to think about what we mean by progress.

Put simply, it is a matter of redefining our notion of progress. A technological and economic development which does not leave in its wake a better world and an integrally higher quality of life cannot be considered progress.” (194)

It has been understood for years that we cannot and should not try to reduce progress or development to economic development. Similarly, it is widely accepted that success cannot just be based on economic indicators, in particular the narrow focus of GDP growth.

The reason in many ways is simple. (more…)

Will Addis Ababa fire the starter gun for a new approach to sustainable development?

July 12, 2015
ban ki moon addressing csos

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon addressing hundreds of civil society organisations

Thousands of delegates have descended on a rainy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the third International Conference on Financing for Development. This is the first in three UN Summits this year that will show how much governments are willing to rise to the current global challenges, including climate change, ongoing poverty, hunger and inequality.

It is the chance to present an ambitious and transformative agenda to tackle structural injustices in the global economic system, to ensure that all development is people-centred for current and future generations and to protect the environment.

Addis presents the starter gun for the journey over the next six months that ends up in Paris in December for the climate change negotiations. AS Ban Ki Moon said to civil society groups today, a successful outcome in Addis is crucial for success in everything else.

(more…)

Laudato Si’: the Pope’s call to action on sustainable development

June 22, 2015
Pope Francis in Palo, Philippines,

Pope Francis in Palo, Philippines, January 2015.

Encyclicals are letters to the Catholic Church outlining the thinking of the Pope and in this case of the Bishops of the world. They do not normally generate global media interest and get leaked ahead of time. But like so much done by Pope Francis, this encyclical bucks the trend.

Its chosen theme – on care for our common home – is a direct plea to stop destruction of the planet and protect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and communities. In a first for a papal encyclical, it calls on everyone – not just Catholics and people of faith – to protect the climate as a common good; a system that it essential for human life.

(more…)

Can we reach a principled approach to public-private finance?

April 10, 2015

In a year of major UN Summits on development finance, sustainable development goals (SDGs) and climate change, the topic that has dominated the discussions has been on the role of the private sector and the finance that it can provide and finance that can be channelled through it.

This is clearly controversial with some groups arguing that no development finance should go through the private sector, while others see it as the panacea to “crowd-in” as much private sector involvement as possible.

Whichever side you’re on (or somewhere in the middle), one thing is clear – that the role of the private sector is likely to increase significantly in all forms of development in the forthcoming years, and certainly within the lifetime of the new SDGs.

(more…)