Ethical Aspects of a Climate Treaty

UN Sunday October 24, 2010 A climate treaty is directly related to UU principles: peace, justice, and environmental stewardship for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. The human-caused global-warming trend of climate change is scientifically establishedi,ii. Human beings are not distinct from nature, but are part of nature, and are now affecting nature in an alarmingly negative way. Impacts from global warming are now being felt and will soon become far worse. All countries will be increasingly affected in a myriad of severe, adverse ways: economically, environmentally, militarily, politically, medically, and psychologically. Global stability is threatened. There is no safe haven. Humane effective responses to global warming with an ethical and moral foundation require difficult equitable resolutions of conflicting national situations generated by different per-capita emissions (historical, current, and future), economic development, and energy requirements. Nevertheless the interests of all are intertwined. We need to become globally earth-centered, with respect for global human rights, reverence and compassion for living beings, with a light carbon footprint. We need dedicated, clear, decisive leadership and action to beneficially counter global warming by governments, NGOs iii, corporations, and individuals. There is no alternative. Let not future generations, impacted by global warming, say of us, "They knew but did not act". The 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference sponsored by the UNFCCC resulted in the “Copenhagen Accord”. Most countries including the major emitters have now specified voluntary goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. However these reductions are not judged sufficient to be on track for the stated goal in the Copenhagen Accord for limiting the global average temperature increase to 2°C. Moreover, the Copenhagen Accord reductions are not binding. An agreement incorporating more substantial reductions in a fair, ambitious, and binding (FAB) climate treaty is needed to protect future generations from massive impacts of global warming / climate change that will otherwise occur with high probability. Acting for the benefit of risk management of climate in the future is generational equity. In addition, climate justice requires the adoption of adequate, equitable, and binding financial and technical commitments by developed countries to developing countries for mitigation and adaptation. UN Sunday can help UUs act to assist the process to help implement a FAB climate treaty. This year 2010 is critical. Legislative / regulatory actions are needed in the US as a prerequisite to achieve a climate treaty. UUs can lobby for a Senate climate bill and support the EPA. UUs can lobby US climate negotiators for a FAB treaty at the UNFCCC Climate Conference in Mexico in December 2010. UUs can make a difference!
Timestamp: 3/25/10 1:12 PM


Part of this text is from a statement by the UN Committee on Sustainable Development (CoNGO, NY) IPCC 2007 reports: Science (Vol. 1); Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability (Vol. 2); Mitigation (Vol. 3); UU-UNO Climate website: iii NGO is a non-governmental organization, or civil-society organization.