Negotiations are heading toward a finale at #COP21 in Paris. A draft agreement was to be prepared by end-of-business today, with final negotiations aiming toward a Friday sign-off. The fate of the conference remains uncertain, though there have been some interesting and unexpected developments, including a strong movement toward limiting future temperature rises to 1.5 degrees C as opposed to the 2.0 degree consensus going into the conference. Though most observers would agree that the latter would have been difficult and the former next-to-impossible, the mere fact that 1.5 is being discussed is remarkable and unexpected.
With that introduction, here’s a list of prayer items from Climate Caretakers. Please join with them in praying through the end of this week for…
- New declared target of only a 1.5 degree Celsius temperature rise. Six years ago the world identified a maximum 2 degree Celsius temperature rise as the target for avoiding the worst climate impacts. Since then we’ve seen less than one degree increase and already we’ve seen significant impacts. A coalition of the world’s most vulnerable countries has been calling for a target of 1.5.
- Ambitious date for getting off fossil fuels. Most experts suggest a target around mid-century for transitioning our fossil fuel use entirely to renewable energy. As would be expected, some are trying to push this target farther back. A date of 2050 would be ambitious, but fair.
- Inclusion of indigenous rights in the final document. Indigenous people are typically the most excluded from international negotiations. They also have the least voice in these processes and are the most marginalized.
- Mechanism for post-COP accountability in terms of enforcement and continual improvement.
- Full funding with follow-through for climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, such as the Green Climate Fund.
- Continued momentum after COP21 to move people toward prayer and more action on climate change. This is a problem that requires all of us working together.
The Biblical precedent for this kind of prayer intervention is Daniel’s prayer (Daniel 9 – read it!)