Congolese cardinal calls for climate reparations

A leading African cardinal has called for compensation given by nations in the global north to those affected by climate change.

Cardinal Ambongo, Archbishop of Kinshasa, called climate change a ‘lived reality for millions of people across Africa.’

“Communities across this continent are suffering every day from increased frequency and intensity of droughts, floods, cyclones and heatwaves,” he said.

The comments came at the end of the first week of the UN Climate Conference COP27, which the cardinal said must include a deal ‘for countries who are already suffering from climate impacts but are not responsible for causing it.’

Senior African Church leaders and Catholic organisations, including the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), concerned about climate change celebrated a joint meeting to pray and come up with practical actions to fight for climate justice.

The gathering took place in the Parish of Our Lady of Peace, Sharm El Sheikh, where around 30,000 people have come together for the climate discussions.

The group discussed topics such as climate finance, food security, the Congo Basin, forced migration, and Loss and Damage which was on the agenda of negotiators for the first time.

Musamba Mubanga, Senior Advocacy Officer at Caritas Internationalis, said Catholic institutions were at the ‘frontlines of the climate crisis, helping people of all faiths and none to adapt to and recover from climate change.’

“Caritas members across the world are already seeing the devastating impact that the climate crisis is having on access to food in already hungry parts of the world,” she said 

SCIAF Partner Advocacy Officer Ben Wilson said the climate crisis ‘fundamentally an issue of justice and peace’ and that there ‘can be no peace if polluters continue to profit from climate destruction whilst the people suffer’.

“COP27 must agree to a package of action which gets finance to people who urgently need it on the frontlines of this emergency,” he said.

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