Journey to 2030

Thursday 2nd January 2020

Below, Bishop John shares his thoughts about our Journey to 2030, his concerns about the damage climate change is inflicting on our planet and how we can all play a part in helpingn.

January is here again already, presenting us with the start of a New Year and a new decade.  For many people, the custom of adopting New Year Resolutions is important, and determining those resolutions is often based on a careful review of the last year with some decisions about what might change in our lives, maybe for our benefit or for the benefit of others, in the coming year and even the coming decade.

Looking back can bring its own surprises. How quickly time goes by and how much can have changed. Although we have lived through those changes and developments, step by step, it can be a shock when we realise just how much has happened. The Millennium may not seem long ago but how different a place the world is today, politically and socially.

One of the biggest changes is the damage we can see that Climate Change is inflicting on our planet. Although the science of Climate Change was understood in 2000, little was being broadcast or reported. For the most part, extremes in weather were being experienced mainly in the Global South affecting millions of people, most often in the poorest countries of the world who have done least to cause the damage. Now we have much more frequent news of severe and long-term droughts, floods, rising sea-levels and record-breaking temperatures which are clear evidence of the damage that our actions and our way of life are inflicting on every continent of our world. Whilst we have begun to take the issue of Climate Change more seriously, our response is not keeping pace with the damage we have caused. That is why I am asking that we start the new decade by planning our Journey to 2030.

The Journey to 2030 is an initiative which aims to mobilise the Catholic Church to act on our ecological crisis. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has pinpointed 2030 as the date by which we must curb our greenhouse gas emissions, in order to prevent irreversible damage to our planet. It is also the target date for the implementation of the UN’s sustainable development goals. The Journey to 2030 aims to aid the Church in a conversion towards community building and caring for our planet and global family. It asks all people and organisations to work together and use their varied skills and influence to make a difference.

For far too long we have exploited our world and its resources, having no knowledge or regard for the impact of our actions. But now we are coming to understand what we have done and that the time for action is now. We have time to correct the damage, if we act quickly.

It may all look to be too much for us to solve as individuals. It may feel like a task that governments and industries must tackle, but we all can and must play our part in making a difference. Each individual small act can have a significant impact when we join together. We can journey to 2030 by small steps that create big differences and will secure a future for our children and grandchildren.


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Tagged | Environment

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