28 November 2015: Paris
By Lydia Mogano
The President’s security declaration has caused a major shift in civil society’s mobilisation for climate justice, making it even more complex for us to raise our voices. Nonetheless we people of faith still had a fantastic opportunity to join with thousands of people who were praying, walking and cycling for the climate justice pilgrimage from all over the world. We are not discouraged.
I am proud to say that SAFCEI is part of the We Have Faith campaign that contributed about 435036 physical and 323058 online signatures through our cycling caravan. Today, the grand total of the global petitions collected together with the Act Alliance network come to 1780528. I am also eternally grateful and humbled by the effort of those who couldn’t join us here in Paris – together we are one!
Before the petitions could be handed over to the UNFCCC Secretariat, various faith leaders, both young and old, offered prayers, meditations, songs and faith readings from different faiths, and all were sharing the same voice, with messages of peace, courage, hope, and justice. One of the main slogans include, “We can, we must and we will!”
Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Secretariat, received our petitions with sincere gratitude and in her words, she said, “Thanks for every single step because it has shown that it is possible to tread lightly”. It was also encouraging when Mr Laurent Fabio, French Minister of Environment, shared his conviction on finances to address climate change: “We don’t need more money; we just need to share it!”
The faith movement has shown great commitment, enthusiasm, prayers and words of wisdom, guidance, love and it is now for the world leaders to keep the momentum and begin to re-write history by seeking to correct the mistakes from Copenhagen. Paris must create change by being more ambitious and just than any other COP in the history of the UNFCCC.
*Lydia is representing SAFCEI in Paris this year, as the COP21 talks begin