United World Project


Peace, social justice, caring for creation: the challenges of COP28

8 December 2023   |   International, Climate Change, COP28

It is two months since the outbreak of war in the Middle East and almost two years since the start of the war in Ukraine, not counting all the other conflicts throughout the world, which so often go unnoticed.

Whilst fighting continues everywhere, here in Dubai, Cop28 is taking place; the conference on climate change and decarbonisation, promoted by United Nations. These two issues, war and climate change are not separate because many conflicts arise from a scarcity of resources, so much so, that on 27th May 2016, the United Nations adopted the Resolution UNEP/EA 2/Res. 15, which recognised the role of ecosystems and sustainable management of the earth’s resources in helping to reduce the risk of armed conflicts’, repeating its commitment to sustainability goals.

Let’s think back, for a moment, to the ‘Arab Springs of 2011” and the conflicts that arose, partly for demographic, political and demographic reasons, but largely because of food shortages, due to the drought in Russia, which led to a soaring increase in the price of bread; all of which contributed to an explosive chain of events.

The same applies to many wars taking place today; everything is closely linked: peace, the environment, poverty, social justice, migration and the climate.That is why, during these days dedicated to the the work of Cop 28, we recommend two documents to reflect on: an analysis of the climate crisis by Actionaid, an independent, international organisation, which strongly urges the European Union to be more courageous: because whilst the European Union urges the States present at Cop28 to achieve the necessary steps to interrupt the flow of economic currents harmful to the climate, its own financial system still supports the use of fossil fuels and sectors with high carbon intensity.

Secondly, a message from Pope Francis, which looks far into the future, in which he underlines how the insatiable hunger for profit has thrown the climate into turmoil, and that it is a matter of urgency that we overcome divisions and work together to resolve problems, through dialogue.  Regarding the sale of arms, he advocates that rather than provide funding for weapons, the money be used to fund help for the climate and the poor.

Pope Francis concludes with the hope that 2024 may mark a turnaround: “let us put divisions behind us and unite our efforts to resolve problems together, through dialogue. (…) let us emerge from the darkness of war and destruction of the environment in order to transform our common future into a dawn of light”.