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Catholic NGO appeals to COP28 president-designate to ensure alignment with Paris Agreement goals

VIVAT International. (Photo credit:

VIVAT International, a Catholic faith-based NGO, has written a letter appealing to the president-designate of the United Nations Climate Conference 2023 (COP28) to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement during the upcoming COP28 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from November 30 to December 12.

Dr.  Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber is the president-designate for COP28, with the UAE as host.

“We feel the concern expressed by Pope Francis in his latest exhortation, Laudate Deum (2023), that ‘the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point’ (LD 2), but we are not doing enough to care for our common home,” said NGO VIVAT International.

It said it is a faith-based Organization in Consultative Status with the  Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and has observer status for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Society of the Divine Word (SVD) and the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS) founded the group in 2000, and it now includes 11 Catholic religious communities with 23,000 members serving in 130 countries.

VIVAT International, hoping that the outcomes of COP28 UAE are in line with the Paris Agreement goals, emphasized four needs.

The first is to "accelerate the energy transition and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030."

The second is that “All parties to UNFCCC have full political support to ensure that the Global Stocktake outcomes must be ambitious, fair, and equitable.”

The third is on “Climate justice and financial commitment: in the understanding that everything is connected and that either we are saved together or no one is saved, we face the challenge of an ecological transition that must be inclusive.”

Fourth is to “Put nature, people, lives, and livelihoods at the heart of climate action: some countries, civil society organizations, and indigenous peoples have unequivocally expressed the urgency of protecting, promoting, and integrating people and nature into action to respond to the impacts of climate change.”

“We are aware of the magnitude of these challenges but also of the need for COP28 to make decisive progress to keep the global average temperature increase within 1.5°C.,” said Vivat International.

“Therefore, we trust your Excellency, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber President-Designate for COP28 UAE, in your leadership, commitment, expertise, and conscience so that your leadership will contribute significantly to the success of COP28,” said the group, through their representatives Paulus Rahmat and Maria Lourdes Santos. 

Paulus Rahmat and Maria Lourdes Santos, both executive secretaries of the NGO representative of VIVAT International at the United Nations, signed the letter.- (MTV)


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