Social Justice

Join a Loreto letter writing campaign

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21, was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015.  The conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change.  The agreement will become legally binding if joined by at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Such parties will need to sign the agreement in New York between 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) and 21 April 2017.

Sr Cecilia O’Dwyer ibvm, representative of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the UN is organising a global letter writing campaign asking the Loreto Network, to urge the relevant national Ministers to sign the Paris Agreement on 22 April, 2016  (Earth Day). Without the signature and ratification countries are unlikely to honour their original commitments.

Rachel Parsons, the Loreto Normanhurst Social Justice Captain, drafted the generic letter from young people which, we hope, will be sent by Loreto students across the world.  This letter is below.  Below that you will also find a generic letter for adults to sign and send.  As parents and families in the Loreto community, it would be great if you could engage with this campaign to be a strong Loreto voice.

 

Ms Kerry McCullough

Dean of Mission

 

Letter from Loreto students:

Mr. Greg Hunt M.P.
Minister for the Environment
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600

 

Dear Minister

In 1990, recognising that climate change had become an issue of critical importance Pope John Paul II stated that we had entered an “ecological crisis” and urged action to protect the environment. Since then there have been minor changes to legislation which encourage a greener future, but now is the time for meaningful change and urgent action.

In recent years we have observed the emergence of a new social justice issue, directly related to our impact on the climate- climate justice- making awareness of our impact on the environment a concern for human rights. Inequitably, those whom are the greatest affected by climate change are those whom contribute least. In Kiribati, an island nation in the central Pacific, President Anote Tong has been forced to buy plots of land in Fiji to allow for “migration with dignity”. With sea levels rising and the salinity level of soil in Kiribati also increasing cultivation is limited, thus limiting their ability to sustain themselves and forcing them to flee over the next few years.

Last year at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris to negotiate a response to global warming the urgency of this issue was brought forward. It was acknowledged the “need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best scientific knowledge”. To conserve the environment and protect others in the future it is essential that we keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. The levels of which are headed towards exceed 4 degrees.

All parties were invited to communicate, via the UN, their intended nationally determined strategies to combat climate change before COP21 held in Paris.  Many countries, including Australia, now have nationally determined strategies responding to our climate crisis.

I urge you Minister as a young person whose future lies in your hands to make this year’s Earth Day (22 April) a momentous day in the history of our world by signing the Paris Agreement as we have a responsibility to future generations.  It is essential that you take this into consideration as this agreement will only be legally binding if the agreement is ratified between 22nd April 2016 and 21 April 2017.

Signing the Agreement is in our own interests as human beings as climate change restricts the equality felt between developing and developed countries. The physical manifestations of climate change in droughts, rising temperatures and destructive storms make this issue undeniable.  This Agreement will only become legally binding if the leaders of nations sign and ratify the agreement between 22 April 2016 and 21 April 2017.  We, the young people of this world look to you to collaborate with other Leaders in the task of preserving our planet for future generations.

I look forward to hearing your plans to contribute to creating a more sustainable future, where the opportunities afforded to individuals today are congruent to those provided to men, women, girls and boys in 50 years’ time.

 

The letters you are invited to sign and send :

One to:                                                                                              

Mr. Greg Hunt
Minister for the Environment
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600

And one to:

Ms Julie Bishop M.P.
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament House
Canberra
ACT 2600

 

Dear Minister,

Recognising that climate change “represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet” world leaders gathered at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris to negotiate a response to global warming. They acknowledged the “need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best scientific knowledge” by keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius and they agreed that climate change is the concern of all humanity.

The leaders of industrialized countries recognized their responsibility to assist developing countries cope with climate change and promised to deliver at least $10 billion per year.

All parties were invited to communicate, via the UN, their intended nationally determined strategies to combat climate change before COP21 held in Paris.  Many countries, including Australia, now have nationally determined strategies.

Climate change is already impacting on our planet – droughts, destructive storms, rising temperatures and dramatic changes in the Antarctic – it is inconceivable that world leaders and their people should allow this to continue without doing their utmost to prevent an increase in global warming. You know that in our country we have serious issues in regard to drought, coral bleaching, water and fire.

That being the case I urge you Minister to make this year’s Earth Day (22 April) a momentous day in the history of our world by signing the Paris Agreement on that day.  This Agreement will only become legally binding if the leaders of nations sign and ratify the agreement between 22 April 2016 and 21 April 2017.  The people of this world look to you to collaborate with other Leaders in the task of preserving our planet for future generations. The fate of our children and grandchildren lie in the hands of today’s world leaders – do not fail them.

I look forward to celebrating Australia’s plans for limiting global warming and its signing of the Paris Agreement.