We will help put the moral call for action on the climate talks table.

Global greenhouse gas emissions from industry and our modern lifestyles are causing rapid global warming and threatening life on earth as we know it. It’s a worldwide problem. So it will take worldwide agreement to control and reduce these emissions. Without decisive intervention now, scientists forecast catastrophic consequences.

For years, the United Nations (UN) has been playing a vital role in bringing governments together to agree how to tackle climate change. But so far, reaching agreement has been too difficult… under pressure, politicians have overlooked our shared responsibility to protect our children, our most vulnerable global neighbours and ensure sustainability for life on earth.

Watch the Senior UN Climate Change Offical saying that she believes there still is HOPE to reach meaningful agreement for climate action IF the moral call for action is loud enough. That’s why ourvoices.net is here. By adding your name you can show your love and concern for our children and grandchildren’s futures… for the most vulnerable who are already suffering under climate change…

Through ourvoices.net, together we can urge our leaders to take vital action to implement the solutions that already exist before it’s too late.

"The latest science urges us to act decisively and speedily to avert the worst impacts of climate change. It is a window of opportunity we cannot afford to ignore."

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

 

What Is Climate Change?

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change is "any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity."

See also: 

VIDEO: "Climate change: Earth's giant game of Tetris" Joss Fong, TEDEd

VIDEO: Climate Change Made Simple Viveik Saigal

"Global warming's record-breaking trend continues" by Climate News Network

What is the faith world doing about climate change?

Across the world, faith communities are involved in these kinds of activities to help communities cope with the impacts of climate change and to shift to clean energy use - follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear the latest.

  • Help for people who have been made destitute because of flooding or other extreme weather events
  • Resilience projects, for example helping communities install renewable energy and water conservation systems
  • Education and activities to help everyone shrink their carbon footprint at home, at work and in communities
  • Public policy engagement, to encourage more enlightened laws and financial incentives for low carbon economies
  • Investment activities to support sustainable economic development.

What are the causes of climate change?

The IPCC says that causes can be divided into two categories: human and natural. Natural variations and climate fluctuations have always been part of earth’s history; but since 1850 there have been rising concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) due to human activities, in particular in the burning of fossil fuels. According to the IPPC, GHGs have reached levels unseen in at least 800,000 years, caused by fossil fuel emissions and land use change. In 2013, in the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report (AR5) - approved by almost 200 countries - they state “It is extremely likely (with 95%-100% certainty) that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

What are the main impacts of climate change?

Around the globe, there are shifting seasons, climbing temperatures on land and in the oceans and rising sea levels. Warmer water causes more intense hurricanes and tropical storms — lasting longer, unleashing stronger winds, and causing more damage to coastal ecosystems and communities. We have already seen shrinking glaciers and diminishing amounts of snow; arctic sea cover will continue to shrink and thin, and spring snow cover will continue to decrease through the 21st century. There will be more frequent droughts, and severe and widespread floods and storm surges. Drought-affected land will be more vulnerable to flooding during storms, and higher temperatures and drier conditions will also increase the likelihood of forest fires. Watch this IPCC video on the impacts of climate change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMIFBJYpSgM

What does the 2˚C limit mean?

In 2009, in Copenhagen, the world's governments reached an Accord to limit warming to below 2°C to prevent potentially disastrous climate change.  At that time governments agreed to commit to the required cuts in emissions and to provide enough support to assist all nations to build their own clean energy and sustainable futures.

But not enough is yet being done to achieve the 2°C goal.  While much has been achieved the fact remains that greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are at their highest for the past 800,000 years and continuing to rise.  The longer we delay in reaching a comprehensive reduction agreement, the harder the 2°C target will be to reach and we may see global average temperatures rise by up to 4.8°C with severe consequences.

See this talk to understand more about the 2°C limit and the imperative to stay within it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3xZo1PAe2o&list=PL2M4l7tv7SCDGC6jN7zvWWaF2E9ubUd8I&index=8

The window of opportunity still exists, but it is closing - positive change is possible if we act now. We have the finance and the technology but we need a lot stronger political leadership and the political vision to take us to a fresh start. That’s why the next international climate change agreement in Paris at the end of 2015 is crucial for setting a credible path.

Why is time running out?

Scientists warn we have very little time to cut global greenhouse emissions before they contiune to rise to dangerous levels. To be clear, they are saying that without action there will be catastrophic climate change. Global agreement on how to reduce carbon emissions is vital because it will enable leaders to set bold national policies that make a difference. UN Climate Leader Christiana Figueres has pointed out that if Paris fails it may take several more years to build the poltical momentum to attempt another global agreement. But the climate won't wait. So Paris 2015 is our last, very small window of opportunity for global agreement to phase out greenhouse gas emissions in time to prevent catastrophe.

Why is it so hard for leaders to agree?

It involves all the world leaders finding a way through the complexities of accepting responsibility for the causes, agreeing what needs to be done and making money available to prevent the situation from getting worse. ourvoices.net urges our leaders to work through these problems, compromise on their disagreements and reach a good and meaningful agreement on behalf of us all.