There are encouraging signs of progress following agreements made at the United Nations’ recent summit in Mexico on climate change.
BMS World Mission is “delighted and encouraged” by the latest round of talks by world leaders to tackle climate change.
The U.N.’s climate change summit in Cancun made progress in a number of areas, although leaders have been criticized in some quarters for not making firmer commitments.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to a Green Climate Fund, which will raise and distribute nearly $98.7 billion a year for the next decade, to protect poor nations against climate impacts and assist them with low-carbon development.
Countries will also be better supported in establishing climate protection plans and in reducing deforestation, and there was formal recognition that current emissions pledges need to rise.
“We made a special effort to bring the voice of the worldwide Baptist family to bear at last year’s Copenhagen climate summit, via an open letter to the U.K. government,” said Mark Craig, BMS director for communications.
“We’re therefore delighted to see the world’s governments beginning to take a lead on this vital issue. There’s much more for them to do at a global level, but we acknowledge and encourage the progress being made.”
Craig added, “At BMS, we believe that it’s not enough just to campaign on this issue. We’ve already taken effective steps to put our own house in order. We’ve worked hard to reduce our travel where we can, and we now fully offset our remaining worldwide travel.”
“That’s a significant sum annually, and we’ve found a way to make that work in terms of getting more, new and innovative mission done,” he said.
“We’re doing this through a new BMS Eco Challenge Fund, half of which is supporting reforestation programs notably in Ghana, via our partners, Climate Stewards, with the other half supporting grassroots environmental projects in BMS locations.”
Widespread disillusionment followed last year’s Copenhagen summit, and there were low expectations of a deal in Mexico. However, many world leaders have agreed that Cancun has established a sound platform for the future.
Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon said the summit had allowed leaders to “glimpse new horizons.”
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said, “Now the world must deliver on its promises. There is more hard work to be done ahead of the climate change conference in South Africa next year.”
At the end of the summit, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, concluded, “Cancun has done its job. The beacon of hope has been reignited and faith in the multilateral climate change process to deliver results has been restored.”
Figueres added: “Governments have given a clear signal that they are headed towards a low-emissions future together, they have agreed to be accountable to each other for the actions they take to get there, and they have set it out in a way which encourages countries to be more ambitious over time.”
BMS World Mission was founded in 1792 in Britain as the Baptist Missionary Society.