Fighting climate change the way corona does

Fighting climate change the way corona does

Drought © palidachan (shutterstock)

Urgent appeal: Jesuits from Europe and Africa have appealed to government leaders worldwide to fight climate change with the same urgency as the fight against Corona. What would suffer most would be the inhabitants of Africa.

The reason for the letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Cyril Ramaphosa, the chairman of the African Union, is the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which was actually scheduled for November and postponed because of the pandemic. This was announced on Thursday in Nuremberg by the head of the aid agency Jesuits worldwide Germany and Austria, Klaus Vathroder.

Sufferers above all the inhabitants of Africa

"Even during the Corona pandemic, climate change continues unabated," said the Jesuit priest, who is also coordinator of the international Jesuit Xavier Network. Sufferers would be above all the inhabitants of Africa. "They are not the ones causing the climate crisis, but are feeling its destructive effects most acutely."

There, Corona will also exacerbate the already existing problems of debt and poverty, "while nothing is left to fight the fatal consequences of climate change resulting from the overexploitation and pollution of natural resources," the appeal says.

Exploiting synergies between Europe and Africa

It is important to use synergies between Europe and Africa, the Jesuits demanded. Southern countries must be helped to leapfrog fossil fuel era, he said. "This is more effective for combating climate change than exporting dirty industry to poor countries just to polish their own statistics," said Vathroder.

Further, the religious called for spending on the fight against Corona to ensure that social and environmental transformation is advanced in the process.

No response yet from the addressee

National contributions to climate protection, moreover, should be formulated not on the basis of 1990 levels, but looking ahead to a remaining global CO2 budget before the threshold of 1.5 or 2 degrees of global warming is irrevocably crossed, they say. According to the Jesuits, the letter was sent on 9. November sent out, on which the conference should have been opened.

That Thursday would have been the end. However, a response from the addressees is still pending, the order said.

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