Chris Böer, a Youth representative from the LWF German National Committee was part of the LWF delegation that attended the UN meeting on Climate in Doha in November. “Disillusioning but reflecting the present realities in terms of differences in points of views and economic calculations” he reports in an interview with the LWI journal. Describing the tensed atmosphere that marked the meeting, Mr Böer says one could observe a “wait and see attitude” resulting from the fear of commitment from the countries that were represented. One way to overcome this immobility he says, would be that countries engaged together. The outcome of the Doha meeting is not one of the climate change progress he outlined, but the outcome of the control of the Economy and political power games over reason.
Questioned about the new Kyoto agreements’ extension Mr Böer deplores that the protocol still is limited to only 37 countries representing 15% of the world wide emissions of CO2, when critical countries like Canada and Japan had withdrawn from the protocol and the USA and China still have not signed. To him, the EU would have given “a signal” by increasing its reduction goals in Doha but this commitment was further postponed to 2014, at least.
Since the LWF Assembly in Stuttgart in 2010, the LWF and the LWF Youth Desk in particular have taken sustainability as a key issue to focus on. For the Doha meeting, an LWF delegation Mr Böer describes as “strongly prepared, professional, targeted and effective”, was solely constituted of youth. This, he explains, because they are those who in the future will be the most affected by climate change. Questioned about his impressions from inside the meeting, he underlined the necessity for delegates attending a global conference with such a complex thematic to be prepared. If the Churches’ and NGOs positions have been discussed and demonstrated before the meeting took place, the conference was essentially a place to remind them, he explains. Therefore, new contributions were mostly, only possible during side-events where he says, interesting information and suggestions on the impact of climate change were broached.
When asked about what role he had hoped his country would have played, Mr Böer responds he would have expected Germany to play a stronger role of negotiator, in particular he would have hoped Angela Merkel made the German position clear on the issue and gave a signal by opposing Poland’s strong resistance to increased CO2 reduction goals for the EU.
Given the few results that he reports emerged from the conference, Mr Böer underlined the necessity to continue working on still unresolved issues and the need for them to be claimed by different stakeholders. He sees a call for the Lutheran churches to address and help demonstrate the climate change issue and grow pressure on governments to finally be able to bring progress together.
Questioned about the results of the particular role the LWF German National Committee had played, Mr Böer explains that the importance of the issue had been illustrated anew to member churches while the LWF GNC itself, following a preparatory work of the Youth Committee took measures to compensate CO2 emissions and attempts to meet sustainable standards for its buildings.
First published in the LWI 2012, Regionalteil Europa by Florian Hübner, summary and translation by Nadia Fetouni, LWF