By Ruth Ivory Moore, ELCA Advocacy Program Director for Environment and Energy.
“He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27, NRSV
The intersessional meetings for COP24 held in Bonn, Germany from April 1 – May 10th were supposed to produce a strong foundation for development of a robust rulebook for implementation of the Paris Agreement, but this was not the outcome of the intersessional. The parties were not able to achieve sufficient progress to be assured of the upcoming COP24 success.
Therefore, a second intersessional meeting must be held pre-COP24. The intersessional will be held in Bangkok in September to resume technical discussions. Key issues lacking sufficient progress include: climate finance matters; the mechanism for raising the commitment of parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions (NDCs); and transparency issues that cover all aspects of the Agreement. These issues are critical to developing a strong rulebook coming out of COP24. The parties also need to determine how to deliver negotiation/legal text for the rulebook in Bangkok. Consideration may be given to having expert and informal workshops to help resolve points that are barriers ahead of the meeting in Bangkok. They also need to determine how to operationalize the technical discussions of the Talanoa Dialogue into political principles for facilitating rulebook development.
While the level of progress made during the intersessional was a disappointment, determination and resolve replace concerns when one understands just who we are working on behalf of in this process.Created in the image of God and as stewards of all of creation, we are working on behalf of:
Those whose lives are impacted by flood waters;
Those working to reduce emissions;
All of humanity;
And Animals and plants.
We are working on behalf of our neighbors and all of creation. “Such caring, serving, keeping, loving, and living by wisdom sum up what is meant by acting as God’s stewards of the earth. God’s gift of responsibility for the earth dignifies humanity without debasing the rest of creation. We depend upon God, who places us in a web of life with one another and with all creation.” (ELCA social statement: “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,” 1993) We are reminded that:
“The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these…”
Mark 12:31, NRSV