Climate justice and sustainable development Rayner Mayer Sciotech Projects and University of Reading Reading, June Interactive discussion Ethics and values relating to • • • • Caring for others Sharing equitably what the earth provides Leaving no one behind Why action is required at local level to limit climate change • What are we going to do? Our lonely planet Why is our planet unique in our solar system? Extreme events - flooding in York Extreme events – shrinking tropical forests Extreme events – shrinking glaciers Extreme events - drought Climate justice (discussion) • Some areas and some people will be more affected than others by a changing climate • Local increases in temperature and/or changes in rainfall patterns are leading to land not being able to support life • People most threatened are NOT those whose actions have resulted in a changing climate • Is this climate justice as every country has a right to exist (article 28, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)? Sustainable development • Tries to reconcile societal, environmental amd economic objectives in a way ‘that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ • Obligation of present generation to leave the world in a fit state for succeeding generations to enjoy • This obligation involves the entire biosphere and not simply man as an isolated species Millennium development goals (2000-2015) • Special session of the UN General Assembly agreed to promote a set of eight goals in developing countries to meet human needs • Targeted interventions together with adequate resources and political will has resulted in even the poorest countries making unprecedented progress • MDGs have saved several millions of lives and improved living conditions for many more Outcome of MDGs • The number of people subject to extreme hunger and poverty has been halved in the past two decades • Child mortality of children under the age of five has been halved • Number of people with improved access to clean water has increased by 1 billion • 900 million insecticide treated mosquito nets have been produced resulting in 6 million fewer deaths of children primarily under the age of five Beneficiaries of MDGs Young people who have benefitted from the millennium development goals (UN Report , Millennium Development Goals, 2015) Sustainable development goals (2015 – 2030) • Targeted and successful interventions led world leaders to agree a new set of goals for the succeeding 15 years • Agreed at a special session of the UN General Assembly on 30 September 2015 • Necessary to involve peoples in all counties and not merely those in developing countries • Will need to address resettlement of refugees whose numbers are increasing partly due to conflict and partly to environmental degradation Sustainable development goals (1) Sustainable development goals (2) • • • • • Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts* Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss * Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. Sharing with others (discussion) • Increasing use of resources is leading to rapid depletion resulting in • Increasing rates of environmental pollution to land, sea and air • Decreasing biodiversity of species • Is this our legacy for succeeding generations? Paris discussion on limiting climate change • The 21st Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC met in Paris in December 2015 • Unlike the 1992 ‘Earth’ summit in Rio de Janeiro, the 195 countries were determined to reach an agreement which all countries could sign • The basis of this new agreement is the perception that climate change could be irreversible such as melting of the ice caps resulting in rising sea levels • Realisation that many of the SDGs would not be attainable without agreement to limit climate change Paris agreement • To keep the average global temperature rise below 2° C • Urging parties to pursue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5° C • Basis of agreement is declared national contributions • Paris pledges will only keep average global temperature rises below 2.7° C • Will review NDCs every five years with a view to decreasing further emissions from the 2015 baseline Extreme weather events 1000 900 Meteorological 800 Hydrological 700 600 Climatological 500 400 300 200 100 0 1980 1990 2000 Year 2010 2014 Increasing incidence of extreme weather events (National Geographic Magazine November 2015) Caring for our common home • Climate change, mass extinction of species and poisoning the oceans have been unfolding like slow motion disasters for decades • Universally damage the lives of the poor for the benefit of the rich • Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is first and foremost up to us Pope Francis, encyclical laudato Can people be part of the solution? (discussion) • Paris agreement is a top down agreement and Governments should take actions to implement their nationally declared contributions • However it is our current lifestyle that is responsible for environmental pollution and a changing climate • What are we as individuals going to do if we care and share for others?