Just Transition Wanted!

From 3 to 13 June, the World Conference Center in Bonn, Germany, (just 3 minutes from our World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center offices) will host the UN’s 2024 interim climate conference with the technical title ‘SB60’. This UN climate meeting builds on the numerous mandates that emerged at COP28 in Dubai and aims to drive progress on key global climate change issues. The conference is also tasked with preparing the decisions to be taken at the UN Climate Change Conference COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November this year.
We are expecting a total of around 6,000 participants from all over the world here in Bonn for SB60, including mainly national delegates and representatives of civil society. Through the WEA Sustainability Center, we are also accredited to UNFCCC (the UN’s climate body) and will be attending this ‘small climate conference’ as observers, liaising and collaborating with many other faith-based actors coming to Bonn.
The conference will focus on some critical and urgent issues, such as climate finance, much needed progress on the next round of national climate action plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs), the timely submission of countries’ first biennial transparency reports, work on national adaptation plans and accelerating climate action through a just transition, as well as many other important topics.
As a global faith group, we know first-hand how important one of these aspects is: the much called for and universally sought after ‘Just Transition’. We all, my brothers and sisters in faith in other parts of the world, but also in my own country, must manage to put our lives, work, consumption and production, lifestyle thoughts and lifestyle actions on a new footing so that the transition can succeed. And this must be done in a way that secures and protects livelihoods and ideally contributes to what we like to call ‘human flourishing’. In particular, the concept of a just transition seeks to ensure that those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are not further marginalized or left behind in the pursuit of solutions.
From a biblical perspective, the need for a just transition is rooted in our double call to care for God’s creation and love our neighbors as ourselves. We are also called to care for the poor and marginalized, as seen in passages such as Proverbs 14:31 which states, “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
A just transition is essential in global climate negotiations because it aligns with biblical values and recognizes the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and economic justice. As we work towards finding solutions to the climate crisis, let us prioritize inclusivity, equity, and accountability for the sake of all of God’s creation and our neighbors around the world.
Best wishes and many Blessings from Bonn
Matthias K. Boehning
Co-Director of the World Evangelical Alliance Sustainability Center

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