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Episcopal delegation heralds progress in addressing climate change at COP24 in Poland

Posted on: December 19, 2018 6:19 PM
COP24 President Michał Kurtyka speaks at a briefing on 13 December in Katowice, Poland.
Photo Credit: Episcopal News Service / Episcopal Church via Facebook
Related Categories: Bp Marc Andrus, climate change, environment, USA

[Episcopal News Service, by David Paulsen] A delegation from the US-based Episcopal Church who represented Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at this month’s United Nations climate conference in Poland is heralding the conference members’ agreement on next steps toward reining in global warming – and the successful resolution of a key impasse over word choice.

The Episcopal delegation “bore witness to significant developments in international climate change policy,” the delegation’s leader, California Bishop Marc Andrus, said this week in a written statement about the conclusion of COP24, known officially as the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Nearly 200 countries met from 2 to 14 December in Katowice, Poland, with the goal of developing a framework for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, which seeks to keep global warming under the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius that scientists predict is necessary to prevent a spiralling catastrophe of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and related weather extremes.

In 2016, the Episcopal Church was granted UN observer status, which allows members of the delegation to brief UN representatives on the Episcopal Church’s General Convention climate resolutions and to attend related meetings. At COP24, the delegation promoted a more ambitious goal of keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Andrus said most member nations “acknowledged the need to ramp up ambitions for reducing carbon emissions, while also attending to a ‘just transition’ for the most heavily impacted countries who are also the most under-resourced for adaption.”

  • Click here to read David Paulsen’s full in-depth report for ENS.