Moral imperative to
cut carbon emissions needed at Paris summit
MANILA, Dec. 2 -- The moral imperative to curb carbon emissions
worldwide was underscored as the 21st Session of the Conference of the
Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21)
convened on Monday.
Commissioner Heherson T. Alvarez of the Climate Change Commission, said
“humanity has a rendezvous with destiny in Paris where leaders of 196
nations convene the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”
COP21 will be a decisive conference for the world’s populations since it
must achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all
countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees
“In our own country, the moral imperative to act has been growing. For the
last four years, major faith groups— Catholics, Protestants, Muslims,
Buddhists, and Evangelicals— have collaborated to stress that the world’s
greatest religions teach reverence for nature,” Alvarez said.
The interfaith conferences, supported by the Climate Change Commission and
the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, have been led by
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of the Climate Change Congress of the
Philippines, bishops Efraim M. Tendero and Noel A. Pantoja of the Philippine
Council of Evangelical Churches, and Ms. Amina Rasul-Bernardo of the
Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal G. Tagle described the interfaith
conferences as reflecting a “deeper sense of human responsibility for the
proper care of creation” and called for a “stewardship for the global common
The Paris summit is crucial because intended nationally determined
contributions (INDCs) submitted by more than 170 countries are inadequate to
deter global temperatures from further rising to a point that may trigger
unknown climate consequences, Alvarez said.
A major concern of developing countries like the Philippines is the enormous
investment required for mitigation and adaptation strategies.
If global pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions are not met, developing
countries will have to pay $270 billion extra each year to adapt to the
impacts of climate change, Alvarez said, citing the research of Oxfam
International, a climate think-tank.
It would cost developing countries some $790 billion every year to adapt to
this scenario, 50% more than the $520 billion it would cost them to adapt to
a two degrees Celsius (2oC) world, the target for avoiding catastrophic
climate change agreed at previous UN conferences. (CCC)