Jesuits urge G20 not to lose Paris Conference's momentum

Jesuits and their associates joined those urging change at COP21 in Paris. Credit: flickr
Jesuits and their associates joined those urging change at COP21 in Paris. Credit: flickr

The Jesuits in Britain are among the 130 investors who have written to the leaders of the G20 nations, urging them to ensure the transition to the low-carbon, clean energy economy agreed at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) last year is implemented as quickly as possible.

In their letter, the subject of an article in the Financial Times, the investors point out that governments “have a responsibility to work with the private sector to ensure that this transition happens fast enough to catalyse the significant investment required to achieve the Paris Agreement”. In particular, they identify the need to hold the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2oC above pre-industrial levels, pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5oC and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the 21st century.

Meeting commitments by 2018

Last November, Jesuit Missions supporters were among the 50,000 who marched through London in what was the UK's largest ever demonstration for action against climate change. And as the Paris Climate Change Conference got underway, Jesuits and their associates involved in environmental issues worldwide were in the French capital to urge the nations taking part to reach an agreement to limit emissions in order to prevent global warming surpassing 2oC above pre-industrial levels.It is often the poorest on the planet who suffer most from climate change. Credit: flickr

The signatories of the letter to the G20 leaders manage more than US$13 trillion and they detailed six specific recommendations. These include policies which support a doubling of global investment in clean energy by 2020; implementing the recommendations of the 2015 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change; and being prepared to strengthen their nationally determined contributions, with the goal of ensuring all G20 nations meet their commitments and raise their climate ambition during 2018 to achieve the Paris Agreement’s Goal.

The letter reported in the Financial Times and signed by Br Stephen Power SJ on behalf of the Jesuits in Britain was co-sponsored by Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, the Investor Group on Climate Change and Principles for Responsible Investment, along with other Church-related bodies including the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, the Christian Brothers Investment Services, the Church Commissioners for England, the Friends Provident Charitable Foundation, the Plater Trust and the Sisters of St Dominic of Caldwell, New Jersey.