COP28 Climate Change Conference in Dubai COP28 Climate Change Conference in Dubai  (ANSA)

CIDSE speaking out for the voiceless at COP28

The Secretary General of the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity speaks about the Catholic social justice network’s advocacy work at COP28, her expectations for the climate summit, and what has been achieved so far.

By Marine Henriot and Lisa Zengarini

Josiane Gauthier, the Secretary General of the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), says she feels “mildly encouraged” by the first steps undertaken by COP28 in Dubai, and hopes the summit may translate the global climate goals fixed by the 2015 Paris Agreement into tangible action, namely a significant agreement for a just transition away from fossil fuels.

She represents one of the several faith-based groups taking part in the UN Climate Conference, and spoke to Vatican News' Marine Henriot about their priorities and expectations for the summit, as well as their advocacy work to bring the voices of the Global South, and of all the people most impacted by climate change to the forefront of the discussions.

CIDSE, a Catholic network of social justice organisations working for transformational change to end poverty and inequalities, has been advocating for sustainable development and climate change action for several years.

Loss and Damage Fund an encouraging step forward

One of the most important results achieved so far in Dubai is the creation of the Loss and Damage Fund to supply developing countries with recovery funds in response to the effects of climate disasters.  

According to Ms. Gauthier, it “is a huge win" for civil society and organizations who have been fighting for this objective for a long time. 

The next step is making sure “that it gets funded, that it's fair and accessible”, she said. “So, we are going to be watching it very closely and we will really encourage countries to support this mechanism.”

“We are making some progress, even if we're not moving forward fast enough.”

Regarding fossil fuel phase-out, which is the main issue on the table at COP28, Ms. Gauthier said that “some kind of statement in that direction, would be encouraging”.

Role of Catholic NGOs in making the voices of the most vulnerable heard

Another important point highlighted in the interview was the critical role played by Catholic organizations in bringing the voices of the most vulnerable, especially in the Global South, to the fore.

“Catholic organizations are all over the world and we create space for the most vulnerable voices to be heard in these political processes,” Ms. Gauthier explained. “This is always an issue in this type of space  where wealthy nations, and even private interests have a lot of power and a lot of influence, while poorer countries, but also  poorer parts of society don't get much  space to talk about the real impacts of climate change on their lives.”

Listen to interview

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02 December 2023, 17:01