Sunday, August 21, 2011

Caritas urges climate policy response

Tim Wallace in the Record (Australia): In the report, “A Just Climate: Our Responsibility To Act”, the Australian branch of the international Catholic aid and development agency argues the climatic effects of global warming have already caused significant social trauma in some of the world’s poorest communities. It calls on “political parties of all persuasion to implement policies that will better serve communities in Australia and overseas who are currently struggling with the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation”.

The report states: “At present, there are considerable environmental, economic and social barriers to the widespread implementation of adaptive schemes. In the countries where Caritas Australia works, the unavailability of resources for building adaptive capacity presents a particular challenge.“ Caritas Australia spokesperson Kristy Robertson said the agency did not wish to become embroiled in hotly contested political arguments about the causes of global warming. Rather, she said, the agency wanted to reflect the perspective of the communities with which it worked and focus attention on responding to the effects.

The report, nonetheless, does not shy away from advocating “a mixed approach to climate change strategy that includes mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technological development and transfer”. These four policy “building blocks” implicitly accept the mainstream scientific view that a warming world is being driven by the industrial emission of greenhouse gases combined with large-scale changes in land use. In terms of mitigation, the report argues developed countries “must accept that they have drawn on the Earth’s resources since industrialisation at the expense of the world at large, and must therefore take the lead in mitigation efforts”. …

The earth seen from Apollo 17

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