Climate Change – a test of our civilization

8 July 2011

Isaac Kabongo
Executive Director
Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO)

Survival is becoming a myth in some parts of the World.

Climate change is a multidimensional problem and it needs to be addressed from many different points of view: economical, environmental, scientific, and political. There are so many different interests that need to be satisfied and agreed upon, and this usually takes a lot of time. Climate change is specific problem that doesn't give us much time for action. Time is really a key factor that will determine the success of any climate agreement. In Bonn, parties didn’t exhibit and appreciate the fact that time is not our best ally. That is why they could afford to waste almost a week to agree on the agenda. My participation in the UNFCCC Bonn Climate change conference taught me a number of lessons:
a)    Those severely affected by climate change will have to wait for some time until legally binding agreement is reached.
b)    Climate change is one of the most complex challenges in human history; it is therefore a multidimensional problem.
c)    The political dimension should be taken seriously because it determines the nature and time of the agreement. Politicians carry great responsibility on their shoulders
d)    Sacrifice by parties could be made, the factors to enforce that sacrifice seems not to be clear to all of them.
e)    Science is already playing and will continue playing a pivotal role in influencing climate change future decisions and agreements.
f)    If nothing is done in the near future, climate change will affect civilization reached by humankind in the last centuries.
Unless we act now, we are going to face catastrophic consequences caused by climate change. You also need to appreciate the fact that “the one who predicts catastrophe is not the one who causes it”.  I will not be responsible for the cost of inaction and failure to appreciate the magnitude of the challenge at hand. That is why in the spirit of partnership and development, we have decided to work together as CSOs (civil society observers) to influence climate change decisions both at national and international levels. World citizens need to put aside all the differences that exist between countries and turn new climate deal into reality. But this has to be done as soon as possible, because impacts of climate change are becoming stronger and stronger. Climate change doesn't care about recession and condition on financial markets around the world, and as we wait for economies to recover global warming is strengthening its impact even further.

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