Oxfam welcomes Pope Francis' commitment to tackle climate change at major conference

The Vatican is hosting a climate change conference today, which will bring together world leaders, climate experts and religious representatives. The desired outcome of the meeting is to issue a joint statement about the importance of sustainable development and the environment, and to respect vulnerable people. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, will address those at the summit. (1)

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director, said, “The way the world responds to climate change is a litmus test of our humanity. We embrace Pope Francis’ commitment to build a global movement across all religions for fighting climate change, putting the most vulnerable people in the front row.  We hope agreements from the conference will help add growing pressure on governments to achieve bold commitments in the COP21 in Paris later this year and contribute to low-emission development pathways.”

Climate change is hitting the world’s poorest, especially women, ever harder and harming their efforts to feed their families and overcome poverty. Inaction could undo the progress made in tackling poverty over the last decade. Rich countries have the responsibility to help the poorer to build low-carbon economies and adapt to escalating climate risks.

2015 is a crucial year as countries must announce their provisional emission reduction targets for the post-2020 period, and big commitments on climate finance (to help adaptation efforts) and ambitious aims for mitigation are to be decided in Paris in December.

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